21 February 2019
By Mary Bermingham
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan says a concerted effort must be made by the government and the HSE to reduce waiting lists for initial Occupational Therapy assessments.
The latest figures from the HSE reveal that there are 3,153 children waiting of an occupational therapy assessment in Cork and Kerry. 1617 of them are waiting over a year to be seen.
Deputy Moynihan said, “Lengthy waiting lists have become a feature of our health service, but forcing children and adults to wait months on end for initial appointments could have seriously detrimental impacts on treatments and outcomes. The fact that so many children are on the OT waiting list for over one year is very worrying. This is a source of major stress and anxiety for their parents.
“Over the past seven years we have seen waiting lists rocket. Despite successive health budgets, and declarations from the Health Minister of record budget allocations, waiting lists are getting longer, not shorter.
“People 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 its 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 need the government to adopt a more strategic plan to address the challenges facing our health service, with a real focus on recruitment and retention. The current plan is simply not working”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.