Hildegarde Naughton TD
Galway West – South Mayo
18th December 2019
Naughton secures €470,000 public addiction treatment service for Galway
Local TD Hildegarde Naughton has successfully fought for the reintroduction of a community-based alcohol treatment service for Galway, the newly published HSE service plan reveals.
Deputy Naughton had worked with local activists, doctors, addiction counsellors and Gardai over the last year and held meetings with both the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, and the Minister for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne TD in relation to the matter.
“I am delighted that I have been able to have this service reintroduced. Since the old facility burned down in 2012 there has been no dedicated alcohol addiction treatment service in Galway. This has created huge problems for patients and their families and has caused a major burden to fall on local GPs who had no referral system and also pressure on the Psychiatric and Emergency Departments at UCHG. This will no longer be the case,” Deputy Naughton stated.
Almost €500,000 has been approved for the service in 2020 which will allow the lease of a dedicated building plus the creation of a number of posts. These will include 3 dedicated alcohol addiction counsellors, a family support counsellor, a project worker, a liaison nurse and administrative staff.
“The funding announced today is precisely what the groups working in the area asked for. I have to congratulate Mr. Sean Harty Chairperson of the Addiction Counsellors of Ireland, who was instrumental in ensuring this service was re-established. I also want to thank the new CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group, Tony Canavan, who met with us, listened and agreed to put the proposal for funding to the HSE. All the members of the Galway Alcohol Services Working Group are hugely deserving of praise for their perseverance and hard work over many years,” the Galway West TD commented.
“Before this service closed in 2012 up to 50 people a day sought counselling or treatment for drug or alcohol dependency. Since then there has effectively been no help when people required it. This has resulted in admissions to UCHG which could have been prevented and created a huge amount of distress for many in Galway and surrounding areas. I am glad to have been able to play my part in ensuring that this vital service can recommence.”