870 local children waiting over year for ‘life changing treatment’ – Kilkenny TD
Children’s health waiting times in Kilkenny and the south east have “spiralled out of control”, a local TD has said.
New figures obtained by Deputy Kathleen Funchion reveal 71,000 children across the State are waiting for “life changing treatment”, of which 19,000 who face a wait of over a year or more.
Of these, 1,781 are living in the CHO 5 area, which covers the Kilkenny and the south east, of which 870 area waiting for more than a year.
The figures show huge waiting lists for Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Ophthalmology, Mental Health, Speech and Language, Psychology, and Dietetics.
Deputy Funchion said: “I am both shocked and angered by how many children are being forced to wait on long waiting lists for essential healthcare in Carlow and Kilkenny. This is scandalous and should not be happening.
“Information that Sinn Féin has received has revealed that across the state over 71,000 children are waiting for life changing treatment with over 19,000 of these children waiting over a year. There are huge waiting lists for Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Ophthalmology, Mental Health, Speech and Language, Psychology, and Dietetics.
“I am deeply concerned by the particularly high figures here in Carlow and Kilkenny. In CHO 5, 1,781 children are on a waiting list, with 870 of these children waiting for over a year.
“Children should not be subjected to a postcode lottery when it comes to healthcare.”
Deputy Funchion (pictured below) described the figures as “frightening,” adding: “Children are being denied the opportunity to reach their full potential by years of underinvestment by successive Governments.
“It is heart-breaking for these children and their families that they have been let down and left behind by the state. Behind every statistic are real lives and real childhoods put on hold due to government failings.
“We need to move away from this postcode lottery. Our children should be treated by need not by where they live. No one’s address should ever determine their access to timely healthcare.
“These figures are truly shocking and must serve as a wake-up call for this out-of-touch government. Chronic under-investment by government after government has brought services to their knees. We need to see targeted investment to tackle these long waiting lists and ensure all patients, regardless of age, can access healthcare in a timely way.”