Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Questions on Promised Legislation
Page 70 of the programme for Government says the Government will improve services and increase supports for people with disabilities, particularly in respect of early assessments and interventions for children. In the case of Laois-Offaly, I got figures just over two weeks ago which tell us that there are 1,850 children in the area awaiting occupational therapy. Some 1,022 of those have been waiting more than 12 months and some of them have been waiting for more than two years. There are 291 children in the constituency waiting for physiotherapy. The figures are outrageous. I understand that the Taoiseach has completed his first year in office this year. The Government is just over two years in office. The figures are at an alarming high. People and families who need access to these services are beating our doors down. As a doctor the Taoiseach knows that early intervention is the key to helping these people to go on to live independent lives and to be able to contribute to society and have a fruitful life. I appeal to the Taoiseach to ask the Minister for Health what he, the Department and the HSE are doing to address this, particularly in respect of occupational therapy in Laois-Offaly. I know the Taoiseach will not have that exact figure now, but I would appreciate if he could come back to me on it.