Failed FG health policy leaving children waiting over 12 months for psychology appointments – Brendan Smith T.D.

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Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has described as shameful, the fact that more than 600 children are waiting for a psychology appointment in the HSE North West region, which includes Cavan and Monaghan.

Figures released to Fianna Fáil reveal a total of 619 children in the HSE CHO1 area on the list for an appointment with a psychologist, 82 of them are waiting over a year.

“Unfortunately long waiting lists have become a common feature of our struggling health system, particularly in relation to mental health services.  Fine Gael’s utter failure to get to grips with improved service provision, despite successive budget increases is scandalous.  Not only are we now seeing the biggest budget overruns in history, we are also leaving vulnerable children languishing on waiting lists – some for well over a year”, said Deputy Brendan Smith.

“The impact of these lengthy waits not only have a detrimental impact on outcomes, they are the source of immense stress and anxiety for the children and the families concerned.

“This data is yet another illustration of the persistent crisis in the provision of mental health services for children. While it is not uncommon in today’s health services for children to be left on a waiting list to be on it for more than a year, this does not make it right.  Early intervention is critical when dealing with susceptible children and teenagers. The government and the HSE have an obligation to do better by these children.

“Ministers Harris and Daly must do more to address this issue.  The government constantly claims that it is prioritising mental health services – we need to see greater delivery on those promises”, concluded Deputy Smith.

Primary Care Psychology