Figures expose ‘scandal’ of children’s health waiting times in the Midwest – Violet-Anne Wynne TD
Sinn Féin TD for Clare Violet-Anne Wynne has called for urgent action after figures obtained by the party exposed the shocking extent to which children’s health waiting times have spiralled out of control in the Midwest.
Across the state 71,000 children are waiting for life changing treatment; with over 19,000 of these children waiting for more than a year.
Of these, 5,657 are living in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary. 1,062 of these children have been waiting more than one year.
The information was obtained by Sinn Féin TD Mark Ward through a parliamentary question to the HSE.
The figures show huge waiting lists for Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Ophthalmology, Mental Health, Speech and Language, Psychology, and Dietetics in Clare within CHO 3.
Commenting on the figures, Teachta Wynne said:
“I am both shocked and angered by how many children are being forced to wait on long waiting lists for essential healthcare in Clare. This is scandalous and should not be happening.
“Information Sinn Féin has received has revealed that across the state over 71,000 children are waiting for life changing treatment with over 19,000 of these children waiting over a year. There are huge waiting lists for Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Ophthalmology, Mental Health, Speech and Language, Psychology, and Dietetics.
“I am deeply concerned by the particularly high figures here in Clare for eye appointment. In the Midwest, 1,240 children are on a waiting list, with 355 of these children waiting for over a year.
“Similarly shocking for a dietetic appointment 919 kids are languishing on waiting lists – nearly half of them have been waiting for over a year! It’s simply not good enough.
“Children should not be subjected to a postcode lottery when it comes to healthcare.
“These figures are frightening. Children are being denied the opportunity to reach their full potential by years of underinvestment by successive Governments.
“It is heart-breaking for these children and their families that they have been let down and left behind by the state. Behind every statistic are real lives and real childhoods put on hold due to government failings.
“We need to move away from this postcode lottery. Our children should be treated by need not by where they live. No one’s address should ever determine their access to timely healthcare.
“These figures are truly shocking and must serve as a wake-up call for this out-of-touch government. Chronic under-investment by government after government has brought services to their knees.
"We need to see targeted investment to tackle these long waiting lists and ensure all patients, regardless of age, can access healthcare in a timely way.
Tá sé in am don Athrú.”