Letter to the Editor: Children and families are crying out for clinicians

Letter to the Editor: Children and families are crying out for clinicians

I am writing this letter whilst seated in an interview waiting area.

When in this situation eight months ago, I would have been anxious and apprehensive.

However, my apprehension would have been tinged with excitement and hope for what may transpire.

Today, however, I am weary and jaded. The last few months have brought me down to earth with a gradual but nonetheless painful bang.

There is an outcry for speech and language therapists and occupational therapists across the country.

Recent events have highlighted the ridiculous length of time children are spending on waiting lists.

Children and parents are being left to struggle on their own, potentially having negative implications on the child’s wellbeing and overall development.

Ironically, there are countless clinicians looking for work across the country. However, the funding from the HSE is just not there.

On graduating, we are all excited and enthusiastic about the future.

We are looking forward to starting our careers and supporting children and their families.

However, it isn’t long until the rose-tinted glasses fade.

Currently, there are only a handful of three-six-month contracts being advertised nationwide.

The SLT HSE Panel System is at a standstill, with hundreds of clinicians waiting to be called for jobs that may never emerge.

Consequently, we are being forced to move abroad to practice. Our services are badly needed.

We want to support children, parents, and families.

We want to stay in Ireland to work. We want things to change.

We want this issue to be addressed by the Government and HSE before it is too late.

Marguerite Ryan

Thurles

Co Tipperary

This readers' opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on February 27, 2020.

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