Government inaction on eating disorder resources is a national scandal

Senator Annie Hoey image
24 April 2024
  • Government plan to open 20 new beds by 2023 went completely unfunded

Labour’s Senator Annie Hoey, was today reacting to the alarming findings regarding the lack of funding for adult eating disorder treatment beds in Ireland.

Senator Hoey said

“It is deeply concerning to learn that Government has failed to allocate funding for the much-needed expansion of adult eating disorder treatment beds. Urgent action is needed from the Minister for Health to increase funding and capacity within the HSE to treat those suffering from eating disorders.

“It beggars belief that there are still just three public beds in the entire country which offer specialist treatment for those with eating disorders.

“For too long, mental health services, particularly those for eating disorders, have been neglected, under-funded, and under-resourced. There is a clear and obvious need for a radical and sustained shift in the delivery of care, with an emphasis on community-based care and early intervention.

“The Minister planned to open 20 new beds, but where are they? The HSE’s new model of care isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if Government has failed to provide the necessary resources.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that individuals are turning to the private system for treatment, highlighting a gross inequality in our mental health services. This disparity must end, and every person, regardless of their background, deserves access to quality care.

“We call on the Minister for Health to take immediate action. The time for talk is over. The Minister for Health must urgently increase funding and capacity within the HSE to provide adequate care for these individuals. Plans mean nothing if they remain unfunded and unimplemented while patients suffer. This disparity, whereby some areas of disadvantage lose out on their fair share of service provision, must end.”

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