Occupational Therapy should be provided on need, not postcode - Mark Ward TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, Mark Ward TD, has called for an immediate plan from Government for children to access occupational therapy.
Figures released to Teachta Ward from the HSE have revealed that 18,303 children are currently waiting on a first time assessment for occupational therapy.
Teachta Ward said:
“Occupational Therapy is for children with physical, psychological and social problems to enable them to live life to the fullest.
"This therapy will support children to reach their maximum level of independence and autonomy.
“We hear all the time that early intervention is key for a child to help them reach their developmental milestones.
“Figures I received from a Parliamentary Question have revealed that 18,303 children are currently waiting on a first time assessment for occupational therapy.
“Of these, 9,490 children are waiting over a year for this life changing therapy.
“There is also a postcode discrepancy in how quick you can access therapy.
"There are 328 children on a waiting list in CHO 3, which includes North Tipperary, but if you go a couple of miles down the road to CHO 5 to South Tipperary, there are 4,339 children waiting for occupational therapy.
“We need a uniformed service, so therapy is provided by need not on where you live.
“This is particularly worrying in CHO 7, which serves my constituency of Dublin Mid West.
“There are 1,370 children in CHO 7 awaiting treatment, with 851 of these children waiting over a year.
“I am constantly contacted by parents desperate for their children to receive the treatment, which is crucial in aiding them to reach their developmental milestones."