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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Covid-19 (Health): statements [Keltoi].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Covid-19 (Health): statements [Keltoi]. (17 Jun 2020)

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Deputy Louise O'Reilly: ….Peter McVerry has said that addiction services are in crisis. We see a report today in the Irish Daily Mail on the disastrous consequences that resulted from the closure of the Keltoi drug rehabilitation unit in the Phoenix Park. Will the Minister commit to investigating the deaths which occurred following service users being discharged from Keltoi with little or no support? Will the Minister look into the concerns raised in writing by clinicians directly with HSE management regarding the risks associated with the closure of this vital support service? Can the Minister confirm that this facility will be reopened? Can he give a date for that reopening?... 

Minister for Health, Deputy Simon Harris: …Deputy O'Reilly asked about an important issue that has been highlighted by the Irish Daily Mail in respect of the Keltoi addiction centre. I thank the Deputy for raising this because I have been following the matter closely since I read of it. Most important, I wish to offer my sympathies to the families of the two people who died due to drug and alcohol related factors. We know that drug and alcohol addiction is a recognised risk factor. We know that it is a key focus of our national drugs strategy. Obviously, I cannot comment specifically on the two deaths but in speaking about the Keltoi rehabilitation unit in general I am aware that the service was repurposed to provide self-isolation facilities for vulnerable groups during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am informed that everyone in the unit had completed their residential programme prior to the repurposing of the facility and that after-care supports were subsequently provided to clients, including health and social supports and consultant psychiatrist support, as required. I understand the HSE is undertaking a review of the treatment and support to two individuals. I will absolutely consider this once completed and we will decide if further action is needed. I do not have a specific date for the reopening of Keltoi, to be honest. However, in line with all addiction and residential treatment programmes that have been unable to operate during the Covid pandemic, the HSE is working through a process of resumption of services in a safe manner. It will resume. It is the intention to reopen the services.

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