Further increase in therapy waiting lists – Murphy O’Mahony

Published on: 02 August 2019


Figures provided to Fianna Fáil Disability spokesperson, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony, show that more than 110,000 are waiting for services in either speech and language therapy, occupational therapy or physiotherapy.

“The latest information I have received shows that 110,491 people were on waiting lists in May this year.  As with previous releases, the information provided does not actually provide the true scale of the waiting lists – as the occupational therapy and physiotherapy figures only show the numbers waiting for assessment – not for actual therapy”, said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.

“The numbers waiting for a physiotherapy assessment saw a very big increase jumping by almost 6,000 from 33,561 to 39,530 between February and May of this year. Of these some 2,307 were waiting for more than a year.

 “While fewer (33,102) are waiting for an assessment for occupational therapy the number waiting more than a year is significantly higher with 8,720 waiting over a year. Children and young people make up the vast majority of long waiters here with 7,615 under 18’s awaiting an assessment for more than twelve months.

 “The speech and language lists have stabilised somewhat following a big increase in February. Nonetheless 37,859 are waiting either for an assessment, initial therapy or further therapy and 3,118 are waiting over a year.

“As part of Budget 2019, the government announced the recruitment of 100 therapists this year.  When I sought an update on these appointments earlier this year I was told that the best case scenario is that 50 will be in place by September and it will take until year end for all the positions to be filled.

“This is very unsatisfactory as given the escalation in waiting lists that we are seeing, these posts are urgently required now”, concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.

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