Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty says the government is failing to provide critical disability and special needs services to children and young people.
Teachta Doherty told the Dáil this week that there are thousands of children in the state losing out on vital supports due to HSE CHO area policies.
“Across the state children and young people with disabilities and special needs are being failed,” Deputy Doherty told the Dáil.
“Vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy are not being provided.
“These are life-change interventions that are essential if our children are to reach their full potential, to thrive and participate in their communities.”
The Donegal TD cited the case of nine-year-old Harry from Dublin who, like so many children, is being denied critical interventions as a result of government failure and red tape.
“Harry Kirwan from Dublin is nine years old,” Doherty TD said.
“Harry has cerebral palsy and a mild to moderate intellectual disability.
“Last year he underwent serious hip surgery.
“In order to be able to stand and walk again he needs physiotherapy.
“Though physiotherapy is available in his school, Harry cannot access this service.
“This is because his school is located in a different HSE CHO area than his home address.
“There are six children currently being denied services in this school because of this bureaucratic madness.
“As a result, Harry has received no state supported physiotherapy post surgery.
“Across the state there are thousands more – this is nothing sort of a scandal.
“Parents are telling us that the situation on the ground is worse now than ever before and action is needed.
“The government must ensure that we have therapists on the ground in every CHO area to provide the vital services that so many children, such as Harry, deserve and so desperately need.”