July 18, 2024

Kilkenny TD urges HSE to open its eyes to problem of huge waiting lists for visually imapired children

A Kilkenny TD is calling for greater rights and supports for blind and visually impaired young people.

Deputy Kathleen Funchion spoke out after it emerged that the Health Service Executive (HSE) does not collect national on those aged 18 years or younger that are blind or vision impaired.

The Sinn Féin children’s spokesperson called on the HSE and Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to address the issue immediately.

The Kilkenny TD called for more consultant ophthalmology positions to be created to slash waiting times for your people who need help now.

Deputy Funchion said: “It is very disappointing to discover that the HSE do not collect national figures on young people (0-18) that are either blind or have a vision impairment diagnosis.

“It is vitally important in terms of guiding national planning, deployment of critical important Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, addressing early intervention and the development of programmes and targeted funding and supports that the HSE adequately understands the national picture.”


The Kilkenny TD (pictured below) added: “Addressing the serious issues with long ophthalmology waiting lists was highlighted by the Irish Medical Organisation who recommended the number of ophthalmology consultant posts increase from 41 to 147.

“Whilst I recognise that local HSE Community Health Organisation areas do hold statistics on service users that are blind or with a vision impairment in a local area, it is vitally important that at a national level the HSE knows this information.

“As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic it is really important that people with a disability are included in the recovery and given every opportunity to participate in their communities through targeted investment by Government.”

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