Tipperary TD, Jackie Cahill has questioned the situation where children from two different parts of the county are being treated differently by the HSE with regard to ophthalmology services.

Deputy Cahill was commenting after it emerged that children attending University Hospital Nenagh are being denied the same level of support as children attending South Tipperary Regional Hospital.

“At present, all school going children are entitled to a free eye test and prescription level glasses if needed.

“However, if a child attending the hospital in Nenagh receives a more complex prescription, or if a special frame is needed, then their parents will need to pay. If the same situation occurs at South Tipperary General Hospital, there will be no charge.

“I don’t object to children attending STGH getting their glasses for free, but I strongly feel that just because someone attends Nenagh that they should have to pay.

“Access to the same services, and the same level of support, should not be dependent on one’s location.

“To my mind, this has to do with the fact that Nenagh Hospital is part of the Mid West Hospital Group while STGH is part of the South and South West Group.

“I’ve written to the Minister for Health looking for an answer as to why this is happening.

“It’s totally unacceptable that this is happening, and the Minister must answer why he is allowing what is, for all intents and purposes, a two tier health system develop.

“This cannot be allowed to continue, and I will fight for a health system that treats all our children equally,” concluded Cahill.