Shortage of cash 'to see mental care rationed' by the HSE
Concern has emerged that mental health services will have to be rationed next year.
The fear comes as the HSE's National Service Plan for 2019 signalled the €16bn budget will be severely stretched.
Mental Health Reform said there was no funding reflecting demographic pressures and unfunded services, estimated at €40m in 2018, sparking fears of rationing.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil health spokesman Stephen Donnelly said hospitals face a difficult year.
"The service plan shows the HSE missed virtually all of its acute hospital targets during 2018," he said.
"The long waits that the over 75s endured in emergency departments is the most glaring example of this failure.
"Similarly, in relation to outpatient appointments it is just not good enough for the Minister for Health Simon Harris to approve a target for one in five people to wait more than a year to be seen.
"There is a 100pc target for acute hospitals to be implementing requirements for CPE superbug screening but it is scandalous only 36pc were compliant in 2018.
"The tone of the plan seems to be maintenance, not expansion," he added.