Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins stated that people who require rehabilitation are not receiving an adequate service and not being treated fairly.
Speaking in the Seanad yesterday, Senator Hopkins expressed her deep frustration that a very high proportion of people suffer needless disability because of a lack of such services. 25,000 people in Ireland every year need rehabilitation for neurological conditions such as Stroke, acquired brain inquiry, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. There are major gaps in the service which is under resourced and underfunded.
She outlined the three steps which must be taken, the provision of proper impatient rehabilitation services to allow patients timely access to the treatment. Second, better and adequately resourced community rehabilitation teams to replace the current ad hoc and fragmented approach and finally long term rehabilitation specific services are required to help people who are coping with a long term disability.
Senator Hopkins stated that “as a passionate campaigner for better stroke rehabilitation services for many years, she urged the Minister for Health Simon Harris that the specialist rehabilitation unit planned for Roscommon University Hospital be progressed as quickly as possible. It is essential that the project team comprising hospital/clinical and estates personnel be assembled as quickly as possible. This unit must be delivered in a timely manner to serve the people of the West of Ireland who find themselves in a difficult situation where they require rehabilitation”.
Senator Maura Hopkins has called for the urgent implementation of the Neurorehabilitation Strategy first published in 2011 and better quality rehabilitation services.
Concluding she said, “I recently attended the launch of the “We need our heads examined” Campaign by the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, as a health professional and a Senator I stand with them in calling for better rehabilitation services for everyone.”