Cllr Doyle: Minister of Finance’s offer to mental health services does not go far enough


Aontú adviser Emmet Doyle has called on Finance Minister Conor Murphy to provide 100% of the funding needed to transform mental health services in the North.

Cllr Doyle, who represents the Ballyarnett neighborhood, said that while the funding provided so far is a start, more help is needed from the Department of Finance.

Last month the minister unveiled a budget proposal that sought to address and prioritize health and social care, but Cllr Doyle insisted what was offered is well below what is needed to assist mental health services in Derry and the North.

He said: ‘The mental health strategy was accompanied by a detailed funding plan which highlighted the need for as much as £ 120million per year to transform mental health services.

“The support organizations backed by the champion of mental health (Professor Siobhan O’Neill) have all called on the executive to provide all necessary funds.

“The Minister of Finance has provided less than £ 80million. Although this is a start, it falls far short of what is required and what the sector has asked for and what I have been working on in forming the Mental Health Working Group at Advice.

“Mental health services must be fully funded to support all those who need help throughout their lives, especially when we know that waiting lists are increasing and the pandemic will negatively impact the lives of people. people.

“It’s up to the executive to deliver and now they have to demonstrate that they can.”

In response, Finance Minister Conor Murphy said, “The executive is already committed to putting health first and reducing wait lists.

“Therefore, the budget proposal proposes to prioritize health by providing additional resources to ensure that offers for elective care (waiting lists), cancer reconstruction strategies and mental health are fully satisfied.

“A health budget of £ 21 billion over the next three years offers a long-awaited opportunity for long-term planning, reform of service delivery and tackling waiting lists on a sustainable basis. “


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