Crisis in neurology services

 

Sir, – In his recent letter “Deep brain stimulation and treating Parkinson’s” (September 4th), Mr Steve Petherbridge highlights the fact that Ireland does not have sufficient neurologists or neurology services.

Outpatient waiting lists to see a neurologist now stand at over 24,000, double that of five years ago, and unacceptable for the many patients waiting on a potentially life-changing neurological diagnosis.

Neurologists continue to work without the support of properly staffed multidisciplinary teams, a particular problem in the regional centres of Limerick, Waterford and Sligo.

Although Covid-19 has exacerbated the crisis facing neurology, unfortunately this long predates the current pandemic and represents a simple consequence of the failure to invest properly in neurology services. Emerging treatments offer new hope to those with neurological conditions but also require investment in staffing, facilities and diagnostics.

The neurological charities represented by the Neurological Alliance provide the only community-based care but have seen a collapse in their public fundraising.

Those like Mr Petherbridge who have the opportunity to experience neurological care in other jurisdictions are all too aware of the inequity faced by the the 40,000 Irish people diagnosed with a neurological condition each year. –Yours, etc,

MAGDALEN

ROGERS,

Executive Director,

Neurological Alliance

of Ireland,

Dublin 7.