Saturday 23 September 2017

Mental health services are too important to be allowed fall victim to short-term plans

'As the horse-trading over wish lists gets under way, my plea is for a commitment to ending the postcode lottery that people with mental health difficulties are forced to play.' Stock photo
'As the horse-trading over wish lists gets under way, my plea is for a commitment to ending the postcode lottery that people with mental health difficulties are forced to play.' Stock photo

Eddie Molloy

Just days away from the General Election, speculation about the outcome is now rife. Paddy Power is offering odds on winners and losers and on which combinations will coalesce to form a government.

The current election campaign has been dominated once again by a daily catalogue of promises, however unaffordable, designed to achieve the short-term goal of getting elected. Immediately after the election the horse-trading will begin to thrash out a Programme for Government for the next five years. We can only hope, then, that when the serious business of constructing a Programme for Government gets under way, the new government will take heed of the multiple traumas suffered by the Irish people precisely because of the short-term mind-set that is deeply embedded in our political culture.

We have seen the curse of short-termism visited upon us with entirely predictable crises in homelessness, health, flooding, water, organised crime and the hollowing out of rural towns. A long-term perspective and plan is needed to address such matters.

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