OLIVIA LARKIN: Minister Should Be Focusing On Speech & Language Waiting Lists, Not Renaming The Kerryman!
3,411 children in Cork and Kerry await speech and language therapy as Josepha Madigan wastes time worrying about ‘The Kerryman’ newspaper, waiting lists for children with special needs have grown exponentially during the pandemic. However, Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion has decided to devote her time to worrying about the name of ‘The Kerryman’ newspaper.
Despite a legal requirement for initial assessments to be completed within six months, figures released by the HSE in 2020 revealed that in some cases many children have been waiting years for an initial assessment. Even at the end of 2019 before the Covid 19 pandemic, the figures for children on HSE waiting lists stood at a staggering 215,000 children.
Aontú local area representative for county Monaghan Olivia Larkin criticised the minister saying: “People are far more concerned about the length of HSE waiting lists than they are about the name of a local newspaper! This is a complete waste of time by the Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion who should be coming up with ways to reduce these waiting lists as opposed to this headline grabbing political stunt.
It is incredibly worrying the length of time that children are having to wait to access these vital services such as speech and language therapy, psychological assessments and counselling at a time that has already been very distressing for parents and children due to the closure of schools and other social spaces for children.
Aontú are calling for the Minister of State Josepha Madigan to ‘get back to work’ and come up with some real solutions to the growing waiting lists that could potentially cause another public health crisis in this country. People want to see some real action from this government instead of this usual PR-stunt-politics that has become part and parcel of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael over recent years.