Sinn Féin’s Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty and Health Spokesperson Deputy Caoimghín Ó Caoláin, will this week call on the Health Minister to establish a database to outline the specialised health and educational services currently used and needed by people with Down Syndrome.
The Donegal South West Deputy and his party colleague Deputy Ó Caoláin are expected to raise the issue with the Minister in the Dáil this week.
It comes after a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Doherty last week revealed that the number of children with Down Syndrome currently in main stream education is not known by educational authorities.
“This week our Health Spokesperson and I will be calling on the Health Minister to look at the benefits which the establishment of a central database for children born with this condition could potentially yield.”
“A number of constituents have approached me about the issue of children with Down Syndrome and the services available to them – particularly in relation to educational supports.”
“Down Syndrome is not currently listed on the low incidence list with the Department of Education and Skills, and this means that the Department has no idea how many children in mainstream education have the condition in our schools.”
“Understandably, this lack of information poses great difficulty for resource allocation and makes the provision of adequate educational supports quite difficult to estimate.”
“While there already exists a state wide Intellectual Disability Database which at present is operated by the Health Research Board on behalf of the Department of Health, the voluntary nature of the register, coupled with the fact that registration often occurs later in childhood means that it is not possible to accurately estimate service demand in a timely manner for people with these conditions.”
“In our question to the Minister, we will be asking if he has considered the benefit which such information gathering could potentially yield particularly for the planning of both health and educational services by providing information on trends in demographics, current service use and future service need.”
“This is about future-proofing the system and ultimately improving the services which people with Down Syndrome require both now and as they get older.”Tags: