“It’s a disgrace that the basic needs for a child in a wheelchair are tied up in budgets.
“It makes me so cross that they can spend thousands on a hospital stay and yet can't find the budget to purchase a chair for a child.
“A child needs their chair, it’s what they use to get around, it’s their legs.” Liam was diagnosed with a tumour in his spine and scoliosis at the age of seven and had been living an active full life in his hometown Mallow until he outgrew his power wheelchair and had to be hospitalised.
When The Echo broke Liam’s story the HSE said that even once an application for funding for equipment is approved, there may be a "lead time" before manufacturers can deliver an order.
“We sincerely regret that the funding available to us for this type of equipment is limited, and does not meet demand. Because of the significant demands on the budget for equipment, not all applications can be approved immediately.” The latest figures, released by the HSE to Deputy McGrath, show that 23 children are waiting up to six months for a wheelchair and 35 are waiting more than six months.
A further 14 are waiting up to six months for wheelchair equipment and 13 waiting more than six months.
“Some of the figures contained in the information provided to me are truly shocking,” he said.
“On the one hand, this government stands over huge cost overruns on the National Children’s Hospital, while at the same time failing to provide basic equipment to children with specific medical needs.”