The number of children waiting for an assessment of need (AON) in Cork and Kerry is nearing 1,100.
The figures were revealed as it was announced that some €1.1 million is to be provided to clear the AON backlog for children in the two counties.
There are currently 1,098 overdue AON applications in Cork and Kerry.
The new funding, announced yesterday, is being made available under the Sláintecare initiative.
It forms part of a €7.8m national package of measures to address the backlog of children and families waiting for assessments of need, built up over the last number of years, before the introduction of the revised standard operating procedure for Assessment of Need in January 2020.
Cork TD Pádraig O’Sullivan (FF) welcomed the funding, saying:
“We all know how important early diagnosis and intervention is when supporting a child who may require additional supports.
“Waiting over and above the statutory time frame for an AON is distressing for parents and guardians in County Cork.
“The new funding announced by my party colleagues Minister Donnelly and Minister Rabbitte will provide for clinicians working overtime at weekends or evenings, filling posts currently vacant due to maternity leave, procurement of private assessments, and recruitment of additional Clinical Staff for fixed term contracts where necessary,” he added.
“I am hopeful this funding will be targeted at the gaps in the system which are leading to increasing waiting lists.
“Once the backlog is tackled it is important the HSE meets its statutory obligations for all new referrals.”