Written Answers. - Speech Therapists.

James Leonard

Question:

85 Mr. Leonard asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has for the training of additional speech therapists in view of the difficulty encountered in some regions in respect of the recruiting of such therapists. [8595/96]

, Limerick East): The training of additional speech therapists requires the making available of an increased number of thirdlevel, university places, and this is a matter in the first instance for the Higher Education Authority.

In recent years my Department, in association with Trinity College and the Higher Education Authority, took steps to remedy the situation by arranging for six extra training places to be made available at the School of Clinical Speech and Language Studies, Trinity College, Dublin. The total student body has increased in phases from 80 students in 1992 to 104 students in 1995-96. This increased level of graduate output should make a significant improvement in the provision of speech therapy services.