March 11, 2022
High Court ruling shows Minister must act on Children’s Disability Rights – Pauline Tully TD and David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability Pauline Tully TD and spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD have welcomed the damning decision in the High Court today that the HSE’s assessment of need process is operating outside of the law and denying children with disabilities their right to a proper assessment of need.

The Teachtaí said that the decision showed that the Minister must act urgently to make rights real for children with disabilities and ensure they get a proper assessment of need.

They called on the Minister for Disability to end the constant battle for parents of children with disabilities by resourcing assessment officers to carry out the full assessment of need in compliance with the Act.

They said:

“The High Court ruling today shows that the HSE has been denying children their rights under the Disability Act by not providing a proper assessment of need.

“This strongly reinforces what parents have been saying and the Minister must fully implement the motion put forward by Sinn Féin which it did not oppose in the Dáil on 8 March.

“This decision raises serious questions about how the government has been treating children with disabilities.

“The ruling is clear that the standard operating procedure, as it currently stands, falls afoul of the Act.

“The HSE should not appeal this ruling and the government should ensure that no child or their family is left with no choice but to take the health service to Court to get access to their rights.

“The government must properly resource assessment teams to carry out a full assessment of need in compliance with the Act.

“The judgement is clear that a full, comprehensive assessment is required, which gets to a diagnosis where needed, and that the reason for this is to ensure that the state can fulfil its duties to these children.

“By then placing children on shadow waiting lists for more comprehensive assessments after a preliminary assessment, their rights under the Disability Act are not being met.

“It is clear that the Minister and the HSE have been operating in breach of the Act and denying children their rights.

“The Minister must act quickly to vindicate the rights of children with disabilities and end the constant battle for parents.”

Today’s decision in CTM and JA v HSE is available here: https://www.courts.ie/acc/alfresco/3cb866b6-50f9-494a-a8d1-11a05b110963/2022_IEHC_131.pdf/pdf#view=fitH

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