"Just under 1000 people waiting for speech and language services in Tipperary/East Limerick," McGrath
Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called for a comprehensive schedule of when additional speech and language therapists will be recruited for Co. Tipperary. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he was informed by the HSE via Parliamentary Question that up to 586 are awaiting initial speech and language assessment in Tipperary South and Tipperary North/East Limerick, while an additional 401 people are awaiting initial speech and language therapy, a total of 987:"The figures provided to me indicate that the north of the county fare's much worse in terms of initial assessments while the south of the county has a worse time of it in relation to receiving initial therapy. For example; 89 people in Tipperary North/East Limerick are waiting between 4-8months for assessment while in Tipperary South that number is 16. Yet when we turn to initial therapy waiting times we find that 103 people in the south are waiting between 4-8months while in the north of the county/East Limerick that figure is just 34. During the Government formation talks I raised this very specific issue with the Department of Health and was assured that further funding and staff recruitment was to go ahead. In light of that the additional funding of €4 million that has provided for the Primary Care Speech and Language initiative in 2016 is welcome.My only concern is that the delays in assessment and therapy are of such length that they may be causing irreparable long term damage particularly in children for whom it is vital that early intervention is prioritised,” concluded Deputy McGrath.