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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Nearly 20% of medical card owners were prescribed anti-depressants last year

Figures released to Newstalk under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that one in every five medical card patients were prescribed anti-depressant medication last year.

Nearly 317,000 patients were prescribed the anti-depressants under the scheme last year when just over 1.6 million people were on medical cards in Ireland.


Dublin accounted for the majority of cases with 72,000 people being prescribed the medication.

Cork followed after Dublin with 36,000 people being prescribed the medication.

Other counties which had high numbers last year were Galway, Limerick, Meath, Donegal, Kerry, Waterford and Wexford.


Within these counties, at least 10,000 people were prescribed anti-depressants last year.

While explaining the causes behind the high rates, Dublin GP Dr. Austin O’Carroll said that there were two main factors behind the high rates.

He stated that people who are on the medical card scheme have low income while adding, “We know poverty, deprivation and low income is associated with poor mental health – including higher levels of anxiety and depression.”

The second factor was that there is limited access to counselling services in Ireland which makes anti-depressant medication all that’s available.


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