Of these, 9,490 children are waiting over a year for this life changing therapy.
Teachta Browne said:
“Occupational Therapy enables children with physical, psychological and social problems to enable them to live life to the fullest. This therapy will support children to reach their maximum level of independence and autonomy.
“We hear all the time that early intervention is key for a child to help them reach their developmental milestones.
“Figures received in a recent Parliamentary Question response revealed that 18,303 children are currently waiting on a first-time assessment for occupational therapy.
“Of these, 9,490 children are waiting over a year for this life changing therapy.
“There is also a postcode discrepancy in how quick you can access therapy, and Co Tipperary is a prime example of the inequalities in the system.
“There are 328 children on a waiting list in CHO 3 which includes North Tipperary but if you go down the road to CHO 5 to South Tipperary there are 4339 children waiting for occupational therapy.
“This discrepancy between North and South Tipperary is something I also raised earlier this year in relation to speech and language therapy where North Tipperary’s figures were worse that those for South Tipp.
“We need a uniformed service, so therapy is provided by need not on where you live.
“I am constantly contacted by parents desperate for their children to receive the treatment that they need to reach their developmental milestones.
“I am calling on an immediate plan from Government to ensure that children can access occupational therapy supports.”