‘ Wait­ing lists are shock­ing’

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

SINN Féin’s Martin Kenny, TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Ca­van and South Done­gal, has re­vealed that there were 155 chil­dren and 287 adults in his con­stituency who were wait­ing to see an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist at the end of June this year.

The in­for­ma­tion was re­leased to Deputy Kenny in re­sponse to par­lia­men­tary ques­tions he posed be­fore the Dáil went into sum­mer re­cess, but were only an­swered by the HSE last week.

Deputy Kenny said: “The fig­ures are stag­ger­ing and in­di­cate chaos in our health ser­vice.

“Out of 155 chil­dren wait­ing to see an OT, al­most 100 of them are wait­ing for more than three months.

“Nearly half the adults on the wait­ing list are also wait­ing over three months.

“This is hap­pen­ing be­cause the HSE is not pro­vid­ing cover for staff when they go on leave. “In Leitrim two full- time OTs are on ma­ter­nity leave. Two more work only half time, mean­ing that Leitrim has a third of the oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy ser­vice it should have.

“In Sligo there are three full- time oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists on leave which is caus­ing th­ese wait­ing lists to grow.

“The HSE has ap­proved re­cruit­ment of one just OT to cover for the three that are on leave.

“This is hav­ing a se­vere im­pact on the lives of pa­tients who are wait­ing months to re­ceive ba­sic as­sess­ment and the ser­vices they re­quire.

“The Min­is­ter for Health must in­ter­vene to en­sure that the HSE has the re­sources to pro­vide a proper oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy ser­vice.”

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