Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health, Louise O’Reilly TD, today met a delegation led by Councillor Natalie Tracey which submitted to government a petition on the provision of neuro rehabilitations services in Ireland.
Teachta O’Reilly said: “Earlier this year, the Neurological Alliance of Ireland launched a campaign ‘We Need Our Heads Examined’ calling for action to tackle the shortage of neuro-rehabilitation services for the 25,000 people each year who need them. Today, Councillor Natalie Tracey has brought this petition to the Minister to highlight to the Minister the pressing demand and need for increased services in Ireland, following her own experiences with her mother.
“We must help those with neuro-rehabilitation needs to lead full and meaningful lives by giving them quality, tailored rehabilitation and support. We know that early intervention ultimately reduces the care needed and many studies also clearly demonstrate significant cost-savings post-rehabilitation. We need the further development of community-based neuro-rehabilitation teams to provide moderate and high-intensity neuro-rehabilitation in community settings.
“The National Policy and Strategy for the Provision of Neuro-Rehabilitation Services in Ireland 2011-2015 needs a meaningful implementation plan and there is grave concern that currently it is stalled, without key actions, timeframes and a deadline to implement it.
“We cannot continue to deny access to vital services to those who need them. The intervention period is crucial for a neurological condition, yet the reality of the current system is that people living with a neurological condition are being left to deteriorate.
“Sinn Féin supports fully the ‘We need our heads examined’ campaign and the calls of the Neurological Alliance of Ireland for the publication of an implementation plan for the National Neuro-rehabilitation Strategy and dedicated investment to the development of new services from hospital to home.
“This petition shows that the people are particularly keen that a meaningful plan is published and that neuro rehabilitation services are provided for the entire population. I will continue to push for this with the Minister and the Department, and this will be an important Budget priority for us.”