Number of children in Laois and Offaly waiting for Occupational Therapy is 'shocking' says Sinn Fein TD
The number of children waiting on Occupational Therapy Services have 'escalated to an all time high' according to Sinn Fein TD, Brian Stanley.
Deputy Stanley said that the figures are 'shocking' and that parents are writing to him appealing for his help.
"Latest figures confirm that there are 1,850 children awaiting this service in Laois/Offaly with a shocking 1,022 waiting over 12 months. Some of these may be waiting 2 or more years but the HSE were unable to give a breakdown of these figures.
"These figures are outrageous and behind every one of these numbers, there is a child and family being denied this service. It is an established fact that early intervention is the key to assisting children who may have a disability or have delayed development.
"What we have here in Laois/Offaly are young people not being able to obtain these services at a critical point in their development and when they most need it. This means that they don’t reach their full potential which can lead to difficulties for them in later life.
"These shocking figures regarding Occupational Therapy comes on the back of figures released to me in May which reveal that 391 children in Laois/Offaly are awaiting Physiotherapy services.
"In Laois 74 of these are waiting over 1 year. When taken together it shows that services for children are in disarray. On a regular basis I have people contacting me who are desperately trying to get Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy for their child," he said.
Deputy Stanley added that Sinn Fein is now demanding that the Health Minister along with Senior HSE management 'get their act together' and 'start addressing these huge gaps in our health services and community care'.
"Considering that we have one of the highest spends per capita on health in the OECD, this can no longer be tolerated’," he added.