Tuesday, 20 November 1990
Dáil Éireann Debate
107. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Health the number of special therapists available to the Children's Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin; the number of children on the waiting list; the average length of time children have to wait for therapy; the plans he has to improve this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): Temple Street Hospital has two full-time and one part-time speech therapists. The waiting list on 1 October, 1990 for routine speech therapy was 97, the number waiting for cleft palate assessment was 36, and second opinion cleft palate was 27.
The average waiting time is currently 12 months. Since 1987 there has been a significant increase in the number of children referred to Temple Street for speech therapy. In 1987 there were 187 referrals, while in 1989 there were 289 referrals which represents a 55 per cent increase.
I have requested Temple Street Hospital to forward their priorities for 1991 so that due attention can be given to the hospital's needs. On receipt of their list of priorities, the speech therapy service will be examined in the light of the competing priorities within the hospital.
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