Tuesday, 13 October 1998
Dáil Éireann Debate
245. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Health and Children the proposals, if any, he has to increase the number of speech therapists servicing Waterford city and county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19208/98]
246. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Health and Children when a speech therapy assessment will be provided for a person (details supplied) in County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19209/98]
The report of the Review Group on Health and Personal Social Services for People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities, Towards an Independent Future, published in December 1996, sets out the requirements for the development of these services, including speech and language therapy services. As recommended in the report, regional co-ordinating committees for services for people with physical and sensory disabilities have been put in place in each of the health boards. One of the primary functions of the co-ordinating committees is to advise the chief executive officer of each board on priorities for the allocation of funds available for the development of the services.
The South Eastern Health Board currently has seven speech and language therapists providing services to the community in the Waterford area. The board's service plan for 1998 includes reference to a proposed overall increase of 20 paramedical staff, including speech and language therapists. I understand that the board is currently working with the co-ordinating committee on the preparation of a detailed plan for the development of services for children with disabilities which will include proposals to increase the number of speech and language therapists in the Waterford area.
With regard to the Deputy's question concerning speech therapy assessment for a person, whose details have been supplied to me, the position is that the provision of these services in individual cases is a matter for the relevant health board. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive officer of the South Eastern Health board to have this case examined as a matter of urgency and to reply directly to the Deputy.
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