Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers, Pauline Tully TD, has spoken about the need to hear from the HSE and the Minister for State with responsibility for Disability at the Disability Matters Committee as to why a request by the Minister to hold one to one meetings with regional disability managers was refused by the HSE.
Teachta Tully said:
“The Minister and HSE are already scheduled to appear at the Disability Matters Committees in the coming weeks to discuss the funding and resourcing of disability services.
“I intend to take this opportunity to bring up the lack of staff in Children’s Disability Network Teams and the lack of a workforce plan to resolve this with both the Minister and the HSE management.
“These issues are contributing to the almost complete lack of services for children with disabilities and I want to find out what measures are being put in place to ensure these teams are fully staffed so as to enable them to deal with assessments within the statutory timeframe set out as well as the delivery of therapeutic services.
“It is appropriate therefore, while the Minister and HSE management are together in the same room, that we also get an opportunity to also seek answers as to why the HSE refused the Minister’s request for one to one meetings with regional disability managers and how the Minister does not seemingly have the power to ensure such meetings take place, without a senior Minister intervening.
“If the Minister of State does not have the power to have a reasonable request satisfied, such as one to one meetings with regional disability managers, then it begs the question as to the point of Junior Ministerial positions.
“We need to know why the HSE were intent on preventing the Minister of State from holding these meetings.
“We also need to know if measures have now been put in place to ensure that the HSE cannot refuse any further requests, such as this, from the Minister.
“These are very relevant questions that we need to get answers to from both the Minister and the HSE.”