Fianna Fáil: 68,000 people waiting for speech and language or occupational therapies assessments

More than 68,000 people are waiting for speech and language and occupational therapies assessments, according to Fianna Fáil.

The party's Disability Spokesperson, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, says dramatic changes need to happen to the health service.

Ms Murphy O’Mahony obtained the figures from the HSE which show that 36,531 people were waiting for speech and language therapy with a further 32,103 waiting for occupational therapy at the end of October 2018.

Its also emerged that one in four people waiting for their initial occupational therapy assessment are waiting for longer than 12 months.

“These waiting lists are a major challenge for people with disabilities, and also older people," Ms Murphy O’Mahony said.

“Under any metric, these are scandalous figures, and underline both the significant challenges the health service is facing and the failures of government to get to grips with changing demographics and under-resourcing.

“Citizens are sick and tired of hearing the Government claim that money isn’t the problem in the health service. It’s an attempt to deflect from their failure to recruit and retain the staff needed to provide these basic services and therapies.

When people, adults and children, receive delayed interventions, it negatively affects their quality of life, and potentially risks them not making a full recovery in some circumstances.

“We must see a better response from the Government in terms of addressing the health challenges in this country in 2019. Ministers who don’t act like commentators on the health services, and who get stuck in and take responsibility would be a good start,” she said.


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