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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Unrevised. Financial resolution No. 4: general (resumed) (continued).

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Unrevised. Financial resolution No. 4: general (resumed) (continued). (11 Oct 2017)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan: The Minister of State, Deputy Catherine Byrne, announced an additional €250,000 funding for evidence-based community plans for alcohol and harm awareness promotions. I hope the Minister of State will consider projects that support people in recovery from alcohol abuse and for which there is evidence that they work. One project which comes to mind that is not in my Dublin Central constituency is the Áit Linn programme in Ballymun which, despite making a difference and saving thousands of euro through its support for people in recovery, is struggling to survive as it does not know from where its funding will come.

 

 

The additional funding provided for the new drugs strategy is very welcome after many years of cuts to drugs projects and services. The increase in social welfare payments also moves in the right direction, as does the increase in the Christmas bonus to 85% of the value of the relevant payment. I hope the Christmas bonus will be restored in full next year…….

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne):   In the area of social inclusion and supporting the most vulnerable, significant additional funding of €9 million has been provided for 2018. In July we launched our new strategy, Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery. This strategy takes a health-led, person-centred approach to drug and alcohol use in Ireland. I am pleased to inform the House that significant additional resources are being made available in 2018 to ensure immediate progress on priority actions from the strategy, including expanding drug and alcohol services, with the objective of reducing waiting times and promoting person-centred care. This will include the establishment of a treatment service in Kildare and the enhancement of treatment capacity in other areas; developing a new programme to promote community awareness of alcohol-related harm, which will be introduced during 2018; increasing the number of drug liaison midwives to five by the end of 2018 to improve the link between maternity services and the drug and alcohol treatment services outside the capital; and developing a targeted new youth services scheme for young people at risk of substance misuse in socially and economically disadvantaged communities. In addition, the Government intends to maintain a focus on the health needs of the most vulnerable groups in society, particularly those who experience health inequalities, have difficulties accessing services and present with multiple, complex health and support needs. The significant increased funding for social inclusion will be used to respond to the pressing health needs of refugees arriving in emergency reception and orientation centres by improving access to primary care services, with a particular focus on addressing their oral health needs. It will also be used to address the health needs of people who are homeless and have mental health and addiction issues in line with the Rebuilding Ireland and Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery strategies. We intend to increase the level of expenditure on health supports and specialist in-reach services in order to make every effort to remove barriers to health care experienced by those affected by homelessness and addiction. It will increase the capacity of the mobile health clinic, currently providing outreach services for hard-to-reach homeless people with complex needs in the Dublin area to operate on a five-day a week basis....

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