Gerry Adams has criticised the Minister for Health for allowing a situation to persist in North Louth where 209 children are waiting for an appointment with HSE psychology services which may take up to 33 months
The Louth Sinn Féin TD said;
“I have been contacted by a number of families from the Dundalk area who have been advised to refer their children to the HSE’s psychology services in Barrack Street. Yet when they do this they are notified of an appointment date which could be years into the future. Often this initial appointment is not even with the child but is designed to give parents advice on how they can help their child at home.
“I spoke to one mother whose 5 year old child had accidentally seen an inappropriate video game at school. The child was obviously traumatised, he couldn’t be left in a room on his own day or night. That family needed help and advice at that time, but they couldn’t access it.
“The response to my parliamentary question indicates that there are 209 children on the waiting list for north Louth, many of them will be in acute need of psychological support.
“In the South of the county there are 175 children on the waiting list with a longest wait time of 10 months.10 months is too long for a vulnerable child to wait for help, but 33 months, almost 3 years, is an absolute disgrace.
“I have written to Simon Harris to ask him to recruit additional staff in primary care psychology in North Louth to eradicate this waiting list and provide more than a service which exists in name only.”
“I am also mindful of the stress which those working in this service are experiencing. It is unfair to expect an understaffed and under resourced service to meet demand.
“Unless more resources are targeted in this direction this government will continue to fail children and their families in Louth.”