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  • HSE South seeks resources to develop addiction services

    Posted on August 12th, 2009 TimB No comments

    The HSE has failed to develop community and outpatient addiction services in the south, owing to a budget shortfall, although the area has the most heroin addicts on chronic treatment waiting lists, as well those waiting for the longest period in the country.

    “The HSE South’s development priority is the improved provision of services at community and outpatient level.  This would allow for greater access, early intervention and improved outcomes,” a HSE official told the recent HSE South Regional Health Forum.

    “The 2009 Service Plan provided €4.2 million nationally, of which at least 25 per cent was earmarked to develop tier two and tier three services in the South. However, in the context of the revised Service Plan and reduction in monies available to the HSE, it has not been possible to progress these developments and every effort is being made to secure the required resources.”

    Currently, there are 545 people waiting to get on the methadone programme countrywide, including 106 in Cork and Kerry, where addicts are waiting 10 months on average for treatment, and 78 in the south-east. The longest waiting list is in the south-east at 18 months.  So far this year 970 people presented for addiction (drugs and alcohol) treatment in the south, 550 of them in Cork and Kerry.

    In 2008, 1,205 presented in Cork and Kerry compared to 1,473 in the south-east.

    In relation to methadone treatment and waiting times, the HSE official said an additional three HSE-led clinics funded by Government minor capital grants will open before year end – one in Wexford and two in Cork city.

    (Irish Medical News)

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