New figures obtained by Fianna Fail show that there are over 1,000 people on waiting lists for Speech and Language Therapy in the Galway, Mayo and Roscommon area and this has been harshly criticised by Eugene Murphy TD.
The latest figures made available by the HSE show that nationally 14,047 people were waiting for a first assessment in March, up from 13,545 in June of last year. The numbers waiting for treatment have also increased from 8,326 to 8,974 over the same timeframe.
“The latest figures show that there are a total of 1,075 people waiting for an initial speech and language assessment in CHO 2 (Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) with some 54 people stuck on a waiting for over a year and in some cases up to two years. A wait of over a year is simply unacceptable when you consider the vast majority of those waiting are children, and early intervention is critical for them to support their development. If you consider that the early years are from birth to the age of six, then to have to wait over a year or two for treatment is very damaging,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fail Deputy has also hit out at the fact that a total of 864 people are awaiting Speech and Language treatment in the Galway, Mayo and Roscommon region with 152 of those waiting for treatment for over a year which Eugene Murphy described as “utterly deplorable.”
“Also the figures for CHO 1, (Cavan-Monaghan, Donegal, Sligo-Leitrim) seem out of kilter with the rest of the country. Nationally the numbers awaiting treatment was equivalent to about 60% of the numbers awaiting assessment. However, in CHO 1 it was just over 9% with 103 awaiting treatment while 1,127 await assessment. This is a significant disparity which should be examined,” said Deputy Murphy.
“The Confidence and Supply Agreement between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael commits to improve services and increase supports for people with disabilities, particularly for early assessment and intervention for children with special needs. These waiting list figures underline the urgency of meeting this commitment,” concluded Deputy Murphy.