Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has criticised the Department of Health for wasting public money by sponsoring RTÉ show Operation Transformation.
Figures received by Teachta Ward through a response to a parliamentary question showed that the Department of Health gave RTÉ over €460,000 in the last two years in sponsorship for Operation Transformation, which has recently been criticised by eating disorder groups.
Teachta Ward said:
“The Department of Health has much better ways to spend public money than sponsoring Operation Transformation to the tune of €460,000 in the last two years.
“TV licence payers are basically being taxed on the double for this show.
“There has been recent criticism of the show from eating disorder groups such as Bodywhys, which stated that community-sanctioned dieting culture does little to achieve long-lasting weight loss or health promotion.
“This follows on from strong criticism of the show by eating disorder support groups who accused the show of triggering some people with the condition, leading to distress and mental health problems.
“The Department of Health has failed to provide services for people with eating disorders and should be targeting the resources into services that people are crying out for.
“There are currently just three impatient beds for adults in the state for people suffering from eating disorders and these three beds are only available to those in the catchment area of CHO area 6.
“Minister for State Mary Butler said in October that a new eating disorder unit at Mount Carmel Hospital was due to open by late 2021. But the HSE has confirmed it will not open until June 2022 at the earliest.
“I have written to the HSE and the Minister and have asked about potential cost overruns of this project and if it will in fact actually be delivered in June.”