Press Release

Disability and Mental Health Services prioritised in 2005 Estimates

O’Malley says €205 million to set new high water mark of €2 billion

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for the disability and mental health portfolios, today welcomed the announcement that Disability and Mental Health Services will be prioritised under the Estimates for new health initiatives in 2005.  Total current spending on health in 2005 is rising by €950m to €10.5bn, an increase of 9.9 per cent.

Minister O’Malley stated ‘The funding announced today shows the commitment of this Government to the Disability and Mental Health Services.  The additional current funding of €205 million is an increase of more than 10 per cent.  This will be used for services covering intellectual disability, physical and sensory disability and mental health.  The full details of this funding will be made available on Budget Day”

A total of €205m in additional current funding will enhance services for people with disabilities next year.  This includes increases for new service development and pay.

An additional sum of €40m is being allocated to services to Persons with Intellectual Disability and those with Autism in 2005.  This new funding will –

  • provide 270 additional residential places;
  • put in place approximately 90 extra respite places;
  • provide around 400 new day places;
  • improve specialist support services for people with major challenging behaviour;
  • provide €2m to meet costs associated with moving individuals to more appropriate placements.

An additional sum of €15m is being allocated to services for persons with Physical and Sensory Disabilities to provide:

  • About 60 new places for people with significant disabilities who are currently placed in inappropriate settings;
  • About 200,000 extra hours of home support and personal assistance in line with the current philosophy of independent living for people with disabilities;
  • Additional funding of €3m for aids and appliances;
  • Approximately 90 extra rehabilitative training places;
  • Additional funding to voluntary organisations.

An additional sum of €15m is being allocated to Mental Health Services to:

  • provide and staff an additional 14 beds at the Central Mental Hospital;
  • further develop child and adolescent treatment services
  • expand community-based adult mental health teams;
  • provide additional community residential places;
  • open new mental health facilities;
  • support voluntary organisations.

The Mental Health Commission will also receive an additional €10 million.

Minister O’Malley said “This funding shows that this Government is serious about improving the lives of those with a disability or mental health problem.  I particularly welcome the additional funding of €15m towards Mental Health Services, together with an additional €10m for the Mental Health Commission, which will enable the Mental Health tribunals to commence their work during 2005.  Since my appointment as Minister of State, I have said on numerous occasions that mental health and disability services need to be improved.  This additional funding will go some way towards realising that improvement.”