Neurological services – time for action

 

Sir, – Magdalen Rogers highlights the chronic under-resourcing of neurological services in Ireland (Letters, September 9th). This includes insufficient neurologists and allied health professionals to staff essential multidisciplinary teams. Her words resonate with me, both as a person with a chronic disabling neurological condition and with my experience of service provision outside of Ireland.

I was part of a group convened in 2011 by the HSE to draw up a plan to develop these services, especially neurological rehabilitation. No proper implementation of that plan has taken place, despite the sometimes heroic efforts of health professionals to fill this yawning service gap.

A picture emerges of persistent, soul-destroying under-resourcing of health service provision that is taken for granted in more developed countries.

Whether the cause is political or administrative the outcome is the same: sclerosis. The resignations of Laura Magahy and Prof John Keane (News, September 9th) are not really a surprise. It is however a pity to lose such dedicated and experienced professionals spearheading Sláintecare.

There are roughly 700,000 people with neurological conditions in Ireland. Investment in neurological services is investment in well-being, facilitating people to live fuller lives and contribute to society.

The failure to invest increases the burden of care. What happens when we acquire a neurological condition?

Providing neurological health services is a wise decision for us all.

The pandemic has spotlighted the deficiencies in our Health Service for all to see. The time for discussion and pilot projects is long past. It is time to provide proper, full-scale neurological services in Ireland. – Yours, etc,

ALEXIS DONNELLY,

Ranelagh,

Dublin 6.