Deputy O’Rourke made the comments after raising the issue with Minister for Health Simon Harris. The HSE subsequently contacted Deputy O’Rourke to confirm that North Kildare has been left without a psychologist.
Deputy O’Rourke said, “The lack of progress being made in assigning a primary care psychologist to Kildare is deeply disappointing. I have raised this issue with Minister Harris on a number of occasions but the reply I have received from the HSE indicates that little progress has been made on this issue.
“The presence of a primary care psychologist is important for ensuring we have a proper functioning mental health service in Kildare. The HSE have confirmed to me that there is a significant gap in existing services in Kildare and this has been the case for many months now. The HSE has committed to implementing a revised model of care for psychological services but it doesn’t seem as if much progress is being made in relation to this on the ground in communities.
“The need for properly staffed mental health services has never been greater. How can we expect to encourage people to use our mental health services when they are unable to properly meet the needs of patients? It’s simply not acceptable for the Government to just pay lip service to the problems facing our mental health services. Appointing a new primary care psychologist to North Kildare should be a relatively straight forward process once the will is there to deliver on this commitment.
“I’ll continue to raise this issue with the Government until it’s satisfactorily resolved. North Kildare urgently needs a primary care psychologist to help improve our mental health services,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.