Paediatric OT waiting lists must be reduced without delay – Brendan Smith

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has appealed to the Minister for Health to take immediate action to reduce the long waiting lists for Occupational Therapy for children in Cavan and Monaghan.

The most recent figures reveal that there are hundreds of children across the two counties are waiting over a year for an appointment with an Occupational Therapist.

Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “Earlier this year there were more than 300 children on an OT waiting list for more than a year. This is a shocking figure and could pose serious issues for these children in terms of early intervention. Occupational Therapy is an essential rehabilitation process for children who may have suffered an accident or injury or who are living with a disability.

“The HSE is blaming staffing issues for the long delays in waiting times citing reorganisation and maternity leave. I find it ridiculous that the HSE is unable to manage its own staffing arrangements and management must now step up to the mark and address these issues. While it says that it is “progressing the recruitment approval process”, measures must be taken to ensure that this is completed without delay.

“I am calling on the Health Minister to establish a special taskforce to alleviate the serious backlogs in this area. I know there have been problems with recruitment of staff but the current situation is completely unacceptable.

“Children should not be left bearing the brunt of this Government’s failure to get to grips with the dysfunction in our health service and the Minister must act without delay to bring these lengthy waiting lists under control”.