800k people with neurological issues failed by State, says charity

People who have neurological conditions have been failed by the Government, a charity has claimed.

800k people with neurological issues failed by State, says charity

People who have neurological conditions have been failed by the Government, a charity has claimed.

The Neurological Alliance of Ireland pointed to under-investment in services, growing waiting lists, and the failure to meet key commitments in the Programme for Government.

At a time when Ireland is researching and developing treatments for neurological conditions, people who have the diseases are struggling.

800,000 Irish people have a neurological condition, whether it be stroke, epilepsy, dementia, acquired brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or rare and genetic conditions. The executive director of the NAI, Mags Rogers, said they had waited over eight years for an implementation plan for the National Neurorehabilitation Strategy, before it was finally published this year, but with no commitment to investment.

“That is just paying lip service. Meanwhile, charities have seen successive cuts to their funding, which is impacting on vital services for people with neurological conditions and their families,” she said.

21,000 people are waiting to see a neurologist and waiting times continue to increase. There are also delays in people getting new medications.

The NAI is concerned that successive cuts are threatening vital services provided by voluntary organisations.

Their pre-budget submission calls for a €4.5m investment in neurorehabilitation services; a €2m investment in neurology services, and the protection of vital services provided by voluntary organisations.

Neurorehabilitation services support recovery and prevent disability for people who have neurological conditions.

Ireland has less than half of the specialist inpatient beds needed for a population of its size and community-based services are underdeveloped. Only three Community Health Organisations have dedicated — but partially staffed — neurorehabilitation teams.

Today is World Brain Day and the alliance will release research showing how Irish people with neurological conditions struggle with employment.

Three-quarters (78%) of those surveyed had to give up work because of their diagnosis, while one-fifth experienced significant difficulties in the workplace. Those who are self-employed are twice as likely to report issues. And 19% had not disclosed their condition to their employer.

Jane Whelan, who suffers from migraine, said people with a neurological condition could remain working, if their needs were accommodated.

“At a time of full employment in our economy, when we are struggling to fill positions, we continue to lose people from the workforce, when, often, all they need are simple adjustments to enable them to stay in work,” said Ms Whelan.

The executive director of the European Federation of Neurological Associations, Donna Walsh, said: “Recent reports suggest Ireland needs to catch up with other EU countries, in terms of numbers of neurologists and access to new and innovative treatments.”

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Text header

From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

Let Me Tell You

Let Me Tell You is a new bespoke podcast series from 

Logo IE

Hosts Daniel McConnell and Paul Hosford take a look back at some of the most dramatic moments in recent Irish political history from the unique perspective of one of the key players involved.

Bespoke political podcast series from

Logo IE
War_map
Execution Time: 0.229 s