Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to explain what measures will be taken to alleviate unacceptably long waiting times for children looking to access psychology services.
Deputy Cowen made the comments after receiving information from the HSE which shows that the current waiting times for psychology services is approximately 30 months from date of acceptance.
Deputy Cowen said, “I have been contacted by a number of parents in recent months regarding the difficulties they are experiencing in accessing psychology services for their children. These parents are being told that they have to wait over two years before their children can avail of these services.
“These delays are having a significant impact on many children right across Offaly. The HSE has already admitted that these children urgently require access to psychology services. However the HSE is unable to meet the demand for services due to years of under investment in health by Fine Gael. The Government needs to set out what steps it is taking to address these unacceptably long waiting times.
“In recent days Fine Gael TD’s have been talking up the prospect of tax cuts at the next budget. However it’s important to remember that tax cuts will come with the expense of reduced spending on services, which will only exacerbate the crisis in our health service. It makes much more sense to focus on increasing investment in services in order to ensure that no child is forced to wait nearly three years for access to basic psychology services,” concluded Deputy Cowen.