Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Dara Calleary, says due to a shortage in HSE funding there is no finance to employ locum Occupational Therapy (OT) cover while an incumbent OT goes on maternity leave from Mayo Early Intervention Service.

Deputy Calleary said, “Following representations on behalf of a constituent I am shocked to learn that Mayo Early Intervention Services will not be in a position to offer a temporary maternity cover Occupational Therapy contract due to a lack of funding from the HSE.

“This will result in increased delays in getting OT services for children who need it. It undermines the concept of “early intervention” when young children are abandoned in this fashion.

“Mismanagement of health budgets have become a hallmark of this government and here we have a consequence of this mismanagement. Early intervention and therapy is vital in a young child’s life. I fear, without OT services, we may see delayed diagnoses or treatment for children. This is not acceptable.

“I have asked the Minster for Health to investigate this matter. Maternity cover is not an unexpected requirement. Preparations should have been made before the incumbent OT went on leave. The Minister should not allow a situation to develop which sees no OT services for an entire region,” concluded Deputy Calleary.