Children waiting on physiotherapy don’t even have a waiting list

Mayo Fianna Fáil TD, Lisa Chambers, has described as shocking figures she obtained from the HSE regarding waiting times for children seeking physiotherapy services in Mayo

“There are currently 662 children who have qualified for pediatric physiotherapy services in Mayo, of that figure just 270 are in receipt of ‘active services’ and the remaining 392 children are “waitlisted due to staffing deficits”. This is quite an incredible statement from the HSE that almost two thirds of children who have qualified for physiotherapy services and need these services are not being treated due to staff shortages. ”

“I have been informed that Mayo has 2.8 WTE physiotherapists dealing with a staggering list of 662 children. They are currently providing care to the 270 children receiving ‘active services’ but that means that one single physiotherapist has a case load of almost 100 children when the maximum they should have is 40. I am further told that a child could be waiting up to 137 weeks for treatment, which is almost three years.To say these figures are shocking is putting it mildly.”

“It was no surprise then to be told that a further 97 children are currently awaiting first-time assessment and the HSE cannot tell me how long they will be waiting “as any capacity available by the remaining 2.8 WTE staff is diverted to those caseloads left ‘open’ by current vacancies it is not possible to estimate waiting times for assessment of new referrals.” This is absolutely staggering to think that right now if you are a new pediatric patient waiting for physiotherapy you won’t even be put on a waiting list. When can these 97 children hope to get an assessment and more importantly get treatment? This is disgraceful and totally unacceptable.”

“I am asking Minister Ring to speak directly with his cabinet colleague Minister for Health, Simon Harris and get additional physiotherapists hired into Mayo immediately. I am also asking Minister Ring that he ensure that those 97 children awaiting a first time assessment are given appointments without delay and told how long they will be waiting.”