DÁIL QUESTION NO:160

 Addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Finian McGrath T.D.)

by Deputy Niamh Smyth
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 19/05/2016  

 
 *  159.  To ask the Minister for Health why children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and who have previously received support from Enable Ireland, have to go through the process of being on waiting lists without being able to access services upon transfer tothe Health Service Executive provided services on their sixth birthday; if he will reform this process.; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Niamh Smyth T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 19th May, 2016.

*  160.  To ask the Minister for Health why a child (details supplied) has to be put on a waiting list for Speech and Language services and Occupational Therapy services by the Health Service Executive despite having a formal diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and having previously been in receipt of such services by Enable Ireland prior to the sixth birthday..

Niamh Smyth T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 19th May, 2016.

   
REPLY.
The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people and disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Improving access to therapy services for children in primary care and in disability services is a particular priority for the Government. Building on additional investment in recent years, funding of €8m is being provided to the HSE in 2016 to expand the provision of Speech and Language Therapy in primary care and the further development of early intervention therapy services under the Progressing Disabilities Programme.

Within this context, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to this specific case and issue. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and they will follow up the matter with them