Roisin Shortall TD

HSE has failed to reduce unacceptably long waiting lists

The sharp rise in the numbers of children awaiting an assessment of need has been described as utterly unacceptable by Social Democrats health spokesperson Róisín Shortall.

“The latest figures provided to me by the HSE are truly shocking. In the first quarter of this year, 4,206 children had been waiting more than three months for an assessment of need across the nine Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) around the country.

“In addition, there were 5,484 overdue applications arising from a High Court judgement last year. It appears that no progress has been made in reducing the waiting lists since then.

“CH0 7, which includes Dublin west, southwest and the south inner city, had the highest figure, with 1,272 waiting over three months. This was followed by Dublin’s northside (CHO 9), with 1,216 children waiting more than three months for an appointment.

“The latest figures represent a dramatic increase from the last quarter of 2022 and paint a very worrying picture of the HSE’s ability to provide the most basic of services to children.

“These assessments are important for parents in determining which services are required to meet their child’s needs. As early intervention can result in better outcomes for these children, speedy assessments of their condition can prove crucial.

“The HSE is continuing to fail some of our most vulnerable children. The Minister for Health must immediately outline how he intends to reduce these completely unacceptable waiting lists.”

June 11, 2023

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