Written Answers. - Health Aids and Appliances.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

562 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 128 of 12 November 1998, the number of persons in each health board area on a waiting list for a wheelchair. [1593/99]

As I pointed out in my recent interim letter to the Deputy on this matter, setting out the available data, this Government made available £4 million last month, by way of Supplementary Estimate to address waiting lists for the provision of aids and appliances, including wheelchairs, for people with physical and sensory disabilities. Investigations to date have revealed that a number of persons are on more than one waiting list. However, the co-operative approach between health boards and voluntary agencies being applied to deal with the waiting lists will address this problem. I am confident that this funding will fully address the waiting lists for wheelchairs.

The position regarding waiting lists for wheelchairs in each health board, including that recently communicated to the Deputy, is set out in the attached table.

Health Board

Number awaiting wheelchair.

Comments

Eastern Health Board

150 (Approx.)

Board advises of possible duplication in applications as between their lists and voluntary agency lists.

Midland Health Board

46 (Approx.)

Board advises of possible duplication in applications as between their lists and voluntary agency lists.

Mid-Western Health Board

61

North-Eastern Health Board

47

North-Western Health Board

Nil

Board advises that delivery of specialised wheelchairs may take between four to six weeks.

South-Eastern Health Board

173

Board advises that this number is awaiting assessment and not all may require a wheelchair.

Southern Health Board

21

Waiting list for non-motorised wheelchairs is fully addressed. The number shows applications for motorised wheelchairs.

Western Health Board

83

Board advises that a further 200 people are awaiting assessment – not all may require a wheelchair.