Dáil debates

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions


12:00 pm

Photo of Pearse DohertyPearse Doherty (Donegal, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

What these parents want is a plan. Unfortunately, what the Government has is a Minister of State who is not forward-planning. One third of all positions in disability services are vacant yet there is no plan in the budget to deal with this. The Government was brought to court by these families and it was found the law was being broken in relation to assessments of need. That is how dire it has got, and the Tánaiste is now talking about how maybe we need a different approach. Of course we need a different approach. What we really need is a different Government that will put these children first and foremost. This cannot go on year after year. The situation is getting worse. There are 2,500 children whose assessments of need have been delayed. That is up 500. The number of assessments carried out last year compared with this year is a fraction of what the HSE was doing. The situation is getting worse.

The Government does not have a plan. People who are desperate, who do have the support they require and who have children like Uisneach who are going through their entire primary education without assessments of need and the support to which I refer are this week being given a booklet on what autism is. That is a disgrace. It is a disgrace that our Government is failing so many children in this way. These people are really vulnerable. This problem could be fixed with the right political will.


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