€6.89 million to tackle assessment of need waiting lists – MEP Maria Walsh

More funding for our Community Healthcare Organisations aims to help address the backlog for families of children with disabilities waiting longest for Assessment of Needs (AONs), Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh has said. 

Maria Walsh, MEP for Midlands-North West said:

This funding boost is great news for the Midlands-North West. With rising numbers of families requiring AONs around the Country, it’s crucial we do everything possible to provide assessments. 

“The €6.89 million increase will provide 2,500 private assessments nationwide over the next six months and will start in the coming days. This is in addition to the existing HSE core funding of €5m which already aims to complete 1,800 AONs in 2024.

“No family in Midlands-North West or elsewhere should have to wait excessively long periods of time for the needs of their child to be assessed. The quicker the assessment takes place, the sooner the family can access the right services. This new funding will prioritise the families who have been waiting longest. 

Crucially, parents will not be expected to pay any initial costs as the HSE will reimburse these private clinics directly. 

“Since taking office, An Taoiseach Simon Harris has put a massive emphasis on breaking down silos across Government and creating the swift change this country needs. 

“The Special Committee on Children, Education and Disability which he recently set up, and where the decision was made to proceed with this initiative, is looking at many ways to further improve disability services like recruiting more specialists to contribute towards nationwide Children’s Disability Network Teams to provide important therapies to children.

“This announcement and the continuing work is further evidence of Fine Gael’s commitment to solving the issues that are most important for people with disabilities and their families and ultimately providing the best start for every child,” MEP Walsh concluded.