New figures released to Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD, show that even more children with disabilities are being kept waiting for their statutory right to an assessment under the Disability Act.
Over the past eight months, the number of children waiting has surged from 3,217 last September to 4,120 at the end of May – an increase of more than 28 per cent.
“It is appalling that a bad situation has gotten ever worse over the past eight months. To have so many children unable to receive their legal entitlement within the set timeframe is fundamentally wrong and must be tackled as a matter of urgency.
The 2005 Disability Act provides for an assessment of the needs of eligible applicants occasioned by their disability. Assessments of need must commence within three months of receipt of a completed application and must be completed within a further three months.
“The HSE data also indicates that of some 5,727 completed applications received in last year, 3,108 assessment reports were completed. That’s 210 fewer than in 2015 despite 89 fewer applications being received.
“Not surprisingly, some parents have opted for to take legal action in order that their child’s rights can be vindicated. In the light of these latest figures which show a further deterioration in the situation, more may feel compelled to go to court.
“Minister McGrath needs to stop the constant handwringing, and get on with delivering the extra capacity in the system to reduce these scandalous waiting times,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.