Sir, – Fintan O'Toole shines a welcome and long overdue light on the abdication of responsibility by the Irish State in regard to provision of services to its citizens ("A real republic should not have charity delivering public welfare", Opinion & Analysis, June 22nd).
Nowhere has the abdication been more pronounced than in the provision of disability services to our most vulnerable children.
In other EU countries, physical, occupational, speech and language services are seen as basic essential services.
In Ireland, parents are often forced to pay for these services privately or rattle tins on street corners and engage in other fundraising activities to obtain services that the State and the HSE in particular should be providing.
Sadly the only thing now growing faster than waiting lists for services for children with disabilities appears to be the number of non-medical HSE managers employed and the salary of the HSE director general.
The redeployment of therapists to Covid work suggests HSE management are neither serious about nor committed to the provision of disability services.
The time has now come to look at removing responsibility for the provision of disability services from the HSE entirely.
The needs of our most vulnerable children are not being met by the HSE and there is nothing to indicate that management in that organisation has any interest in addressing this. – Yours, etc,