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Children have the right to adequate healthcare in Ireland…

14 March 2022

by M

Under article 24 of UNCRC it’s your right to have the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment and information to help you stay well. If this is one of every child’s rights then why, according to the National Patient Treatment Register were there 8,468 children on waiting lists for either day care or inpatient care in March 2019?

There are delays in developmental health checks for some children this allows problems to worsen which makes them even more difficult to address.

Also parents who cannot afford to go to the doctor are in some cases getting advice from a pharmacist however the problem with this creates a risk of leaving the illness undiagnosed and untreated.

Under the Mental Health Act 2001, it’s your right to receive good quality mental health care; to be informed about your treatment, to have your best interests taken into account and to be treated with respect and dignity.

If this is a basic child’s right then why according to my research, do the Irish Times say that the World Health Organisation advise that 12% of the annual health budget should go to mental health, however only 6% of that actually does go to mental health in Ireland? Shockingly as mental health deteriorated in so many children during the Covid-19 pandemic the mental health budget actually dropped to 5.1%.

I also learned that some children have waited a number of years to access an AON via early intervention services (for children aged 0-5 years), however, their child had aged out while they were on this waiting list. Their child was then placed at the bottom of a new AON waiting list for school-aged children. This further prolonged their child’s delay in access to an assessment of their needs.

It is clear that the biggest cause of the delay in access to AONs  is due to an insufficiency of resources in  some HSE areas.

This problem has to be tackled because it can help to improve the standard of living for many children across the country