Sinn Fein spokesperson on Addiction, Recovery and the National Drugs Strategy Thomas Gould TD has slammed the government’s failure to progress the issue of Dual Diagnosis.
His comments come in light of news that the Dual Diagnosis Working Group has not met since late 2018 and a new Clinical Director was only recently appointed.
Teachta Gould said:
“In the Dáil last week, Minister for State Mary Butler mentioned that a National Clinical Lead had been appointed in the area of Dual Diagnosis. She called this ‘significant progress’. However, the HSE have confirmed to me that there was already a National Clinical Lead for Dual Diagnosis – this person left the role in late 2018 and has only recently been replaced.
“In the meantime, the much mentioned Working Group on Dual Diagnosis has not met. In over two years, there has been no progress by this group on Dual Diagnosis.
“The attitude of this government – and previous governments – towards both those with mental health issues and addiction issues is disgraceful. A properly functioning Dual Diagnosis service could have helped so many people in the last two years.
“The Working Group established by the previous government, and ignored by this government, was nothing more than a paper exercise. Any time somebody points out their failings on Dual Diagnosis, they are all too happy to mention a group that hasn’t actually met in over two years.
“My colleague Mark Ward and I brought forward the Health (Dual Diagnosis: No Wrong Door) Bill 2020 last year. It is about time that the issue of Dual Diagnosis was taken seriously.”