Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
122. Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the waiting time for speech therapy assessments in respect of children in the Dublin 12 area as in the case of a person (details supplied); the plans proposed to improve this situation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21965/09]
124. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 who has been on the waiting list for speech and language therapy assessment since 7 April 2007 and who at the current pace of the waiting list will not receive the assessment they need until April 2010; and if she will take steps to expedite the delivery of the assessment to this child. [21667/09]
123. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children if her attention has been drawn to the fact that despite the allocation of five sessions from another post in November 2008 and a new therapist commencing duties in February 2009 the waiting times for children in need of speech and language therapy assessment in the Dublin 12 postal area stand in the region of two years; her views on whether these times must be reduced as a matter of urgency; if to this end she will take steps to ensure that the existing full-time vacancy in the speech and language therapy service in Crumlin Health Centre is filled; and if arrangements will be made to allow children on the Dublin 12 list to access services outside of their immediate locality where the waiting times might be shorter. [21666/09]
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Almost 130,000 people work full-time or part-time in our public health services. In recent years, the Governments ongoing high level of investment in health has achieved and maintained significant increases in the numbers of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals employed in the public health services. The Government has also invested heavily in the education and training of such personnel in order to secure a good supply of graduates to provide for the healthcare needs of the population into the future.
Subject to overall parameters set by Government, the Health Service Executive has the responsibility for determining the composition of its staffing complement. In that regard, it is a matter for the Executive to manage and deploy its human resources to best meet the requirements of its Annual Service Plan for the delivery of health and personal social services to the public. As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.
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