Dáil Éireann - Volume 628 - 05 December, 2006
Written Answers. - Health Services.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health and Children her Department’s policy in relation to the provision of speech therapy services; the service and waiting period for commencement of service in the Dublin region; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41364/06]
Mr. T. O’Malley Mr. T. O’Malley
Mr. T. O’Malley: €12.5m was made available by the Health Service Executive from the 2006 disability services investment programme to provide multi-disciplinary supports, including therapy supports, to people with intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities and people with autism. I also understand that the HSE’s priority in 2006 has been to increase the multi-disciplinary support services for children with developmental delay.
The HSE has experienced difficulties in recruiting speech and language therapists. They are one of the therapy grades where shortages are being experienced nationally. A national initiative to train more such therapists has commenced. This initiative should shortly improve the position with regard to recruitment.
The Health Service Executive has informed my Department that they are also working to move from a disparate, uneven system to a national consistent system. In future, additional speech and language therapist posts will be allocated to Local Health Offices based on assessed need. The HSE will seek to ensure equity in resource distribution throughout the country in order that people can access all services in a timely, equitable manner within available resources.
With regard to the waiting times, the Health Service Executive have informed me that this information will be issued separately to the Deputy.
Dáil Éireann 628 Written Answers. Health Services.