Eating disorder care questioned by Cork TD

Eating disorder care questioned by Cork TD

A CORK TD has sought a meeting with the minister with responsibility for mental health in relation to funding for people with eating disorders.

A CORK TD has sought a meeting with the minister with responsibility for mental health in relation to funding for people with eating disorders.

Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns has written to the minister, Mary Butler, in recent days to ask for a meeting, after raising the issue in the Dáil on a number of occasions.

In April, Ms Cairns raised a story by The Echo about a Cork woman who fears she will die unless she can access inpatient care for anorexia and bulimia.

The woman told The Echo this week that she has been on a waiting list since November for outpatient care and has not yet received a date.

But she believes that her best chance is inpatient care.

Ms Cairns said another case has been brought to her attention of a patient in Galway for whom there is a bed available in a private clinic but it cannot be used by the person because State will not fund it.

She said it should not matter whether treatment is provided in a private clinic or not, adding: 

“The bed is there, the funding is there. What is the problem?”

She added that early intervention is critical for people with eating disorders but said: “Unfortunately, some people are far beyond that.”

She continued: “Eating disorders are the mental health issue most associated with mortality.”

Some €1.6 million in funding which was allocated to the area of eating disorders in 2019 was not used.

The Health Service Executive said funding is being allocated this year for an eating disorders team for adults in Cork and Kerry.

A hub has been set up in Cork but is not yet fully staffed.

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