Offaly TD blasts the HSE over child assessment waiting backlog
Speaking in Dáil Eireann today, Offaly TD Carol Nolan raised the issue of HSE waiting lists for those seeking access to School Age Development Services including Occupational Therapy, Psychological Assessment or Speech & Language Therapy.
Speaking on Promised Legislation, Nolan raised concern about both the numbers of children on lists and the waiting times to access either Psychological Assessment or Occupational Therapy.
She presented the Dáil with a detailed breakdown of the figures for each service by county. Commenting later, Carol summarised the issue.
“The total number of children in the Laois/Offaly area awaiting access to a clinical or educational psychologist stands at 251, of which 132 – significantly more than half - have been waiting more than 12 months."
"Of equal concern is the number of children and young people in both counties awaiting assessment for Occupational Therapy, which currently stands at 811," she added.
The School Age Development Services are a provision for all children aged 5 to 18 years who may be referred through a HSE primary care provider; NEPS or a Paediatric Hospital.
Deputy Nolan concluded: “All evidence shows that early intervention in the assessment and provision of therapies to children prevents lifelong problems, which ultimately costs the State immeasurably more financial resources than those required for the intervention."
"Poor educational attainment, physical impairment and behavioural problems limit a child’s ability to become a fully contributing member of society. It is a false economy to deprive these services of financial resources and a deprivation of the right of all individuals to attain their full potential," she concluded.
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