Government sits on its hands as children languish on OT waiting lists in Louth and across the State – Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and Meath East Imelda Munster has today raised the matter of the chronic shortage of paediatric occupational therapists in the primary care centre in Louth with the Taoiseach in the Dáil.
Deputy Munster criticised the government’s shameful record on waiting list times, despite being in government for seven years and committing to an enhanced primary care system in their Programme for Government.
Deputy Munster said:
“In order to clear the sheer backlog, eight occupational therapists would be required, and just to run a normal service would require four full time occupational therapists, yet the service only has a single part time occupational therapist.”
Deputy Munster also brought a letter received from the HSE by parents to the attention of the Taoiseach. The letter stated that the waiting time is twenty four months before a child can be seen.
“The government’s record on this matter is shameful. How can they stand over children having to wait over 2 years for much-needed occupational therapy? This is happening health centres across the State. It is not just a problem in Louth.
“The Taoiseach’s response today was that he understood the concerns of parents, well tea and sympathy is no good in this case. Real action is needed to rectify this matter.
"Taoiseach Varadkar needs to outline what active steps his government is taking to ensure that no child has to languish on a waiting list for over 2 years in order to access basic therapy.”
“I have contacted the Department of Health to find out exactly what, if anything, they are doing to rectify this, and to ensure that every child has access to early intervention therapy without having to endure years on a waiting list, while the government turns a blind eye”.