Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South Central, Micheál Martin, has heavily criticised the fact that children under 5 must wait 9 months for occupational therapy consultation in Cork.
Deputy Martin commented: “Information provided to me today reveals that the waiting times for children under 5 seeking occupational therapy services in Cork is 9 months. I find it absolutely appalling that these children have to wait that amount of time just to have an initial assessment.
“This is a disgraceful situation and action is needed immediately. Minister James Reilly needs to intervene and sort out this mess. The slash and burn policy he has employed in the Health sector following on from his fairy tale budget estimates last year have severely affected thousands of front line services in Cork and throughout the country. The first years of a child’s life are hugely important in their development and to have this stalled or held back is shocking.
“At the very least this situation calls into question the Government’s adherence to best practice for early intervention and the obligation to uphold the rights of children to diagnostic assessment. It must be horrifying for families to wait this long to have their child seen by an occupational therapist. Parents are not even being informed of the delays and must wait anxiously for news of their child’s appointment. So many issues and complications may also arise post hospital care and this is particularly amplified for children.
“This type of situation cannot be allowed to continue and the attack on front line services by this Government and Minister raises serious question marks about their ability to run a functioning Health department.”