Holly Cairns TD

The Taoiseach’s revelation today that there is a 61 per cent staff vacancy rate in primary care psychology services for young people in Cork and Kerry is deeply concerning and requires an urgent explanation from the HSE, according to Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns.

“While there has been much focus on the crisis in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the scandal of unacceptably long waiting lists for primary care psychology services for young people has largely gone under the radar.

“Figures recently released to me by the HSE reveal waiting lists in CHO 4 (Cork and Kerry) in excess of 5,000. Of these, 1,045 are waiting two to three years and 319 are waiting three to four years.

“In Cork alone, 105 young people are waiting between four and five years. This is both shocking and shameful.

“When I asked the Taoiseach in the Dáil today if these figures were specific to CHO 4 or comparable to waiting lists in other areas across the country, he revealed there is a staggering 61 per cent staff vacancy rate in primary care psychology services in Cork and Kerry.

“This is a very worrying development. Such high vacancy levels did not occur overnight. Serious questions must now be asked: what are the reasons behind this recruitment crisis in CHO 4; how has it been allowed to get to this point unchecked; and what efforts have been made by the HSE to address such a serious staffing deficit?

“Primary care psychology services are essential for those with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. Our young people, and their families, deserve better.”

July 3, 2024

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