As service referrals are made within each catchment area by the treating Mental Health Clinician and not at a national level the HSE does not routinely gather the information requested by the Deputy. However, following a recent Freedom of Information request the following information was collected by the HSE which provides details on the total numbers of service users being cared for abroad and the total annual cost for 2011:
Number of service users from the mental health service being treated abroad for their mental illness
Annual cost to the mental health service*
*There were considerable variations in the length of time individuals were placed abroad.
Treatment outside the jurisdiction is only considered when there is no suitable facility or where specialist skills are clinically indicated but unavailable here in Ireland.