Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Disability Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has called on the Government to provide dedicated, multi-annual investment in order to tackle serious issues in the provision of neurorehabilitation services across Ireland.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony made the comments in advance of the Fianna Fáil Private Members Business motion which places the spotlight on the lack of neurorehabilitation services and the debilitating impact it has on people’s lives.
“The World Health Organisation has stated that providing adequate services to help people with neurological conditions is one of the great challenges facing public health systems. Over 25,000 Irish people each year struggle to get the neurorehabilitation services they need to support their recovery. It is estimated that only 1 in 6 people who need specialist rehabilitation services in Ireland can access them,” explained Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.
“There has been a chronic lack of investment in neurorehabilitation services down through the years. Ireland has less than half the number of specialist rehabilitation beds recommended for a population of our size. Furthermore we have the lowest number of consultants in rehabilitation medicine in Europe.
“Where services do exist, they are undeveloped, under resourced and patchy across the country. This is preventing people from accessing the services they need to support their recovery. For example, there still is not dedicated specialist medical rehabilitation for people with neurological disabilities in the south of Ireland.
“The lack of adequate neurorehabilitation services is having a debilitating impact on people’s lives. People with neurological conditions are spending significantly more time in hospital than necessary, they often live in inappropriate settings and often lead lives of exclusion and isolation. They are often also forced to travel abroad to get the services they need.
“The motion we have put forward aims to provide the investment necessary to make our neurorehabilitation services fit for purpose. It calls for dedicated, multi-annual investment in forthcoming budgets and the publication of an implementation plan for the neurorehabilitation strategy. It also calls for the establishment of dedicated community neurorehabilitation teams across Ireland and investment to target a reduction in waiting list for neurorehabilitation services,” concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.