‘ Waiting lists are shocking’
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.”