Urgent plan needed from Government for children to access occupational therapy - Violet-Anne Wynne TD
Figures received to Teachta Mark Ward, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health, from the HSE 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 52 weeks for this life changing therapy.
Teachta Wynne 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 received in a recent Parliamentary Question response 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 4339 children waiting for occupational therapy.
“We need a uniformed service, so therapy is provided by need not on where you live – this geographic lottery must end.
“I am constantly contacted by parents desperate for their children to receive the treatment that they need to reach their developmental milestones.
“I am calling on an immediate plan from Government to ensure that children can access occupational therapy supports.”