Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and Midlands-North-West European Parliament candidate Brendan Smith has said that figures released to him show additional therapy staff are urgently required to meet demands for Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy services in Cavan-Monaghan.

Deputy Smith commented, “In Cavan-Monaghan there are 524 people waiting on first time speech and language assessments while there are 833 people waiting on first time occupational therapy services.

“These numbers show that it is imperative Cavan-Monaghan receive more staff to meet the service demands in the area. It is not acceptable that children are being deprived of these essential supports.

“We have become accustomed to long waiting lists in our Health Services, but we must not accept this as the norm. Early intervention in speech and language therapy is key. These long wait times for a first assessment are negatively impacting on children’s development and ability to prosper through their childhood.

“We need the government to adopt a more strategic plan to address the challenges facing our health service, with a real focus on recruitment and retention.  The current plan is simply not working,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.