As the Deputy is aware, the HSE has responsibility for the operation and provision of services, including developmental checks for babies and young children.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented interruption in normal activity across the entire health system, with services in the community being impacted alongside those in the Acutes sector. We know that the pandemic presents a real-time threat to our public health, but we also know that this risk has to be managed alongside the negative consequences of limiting access to non-COVID health services.
My Department and the HSE have worked closely together on the resumption of non-COVID health services. Our joint focus has been on planning the recommencement of the delivery of such services to address ongoing clinical demands, while maintaining the capacity to respond quickly to COVID-19 as required. All service areas, including services for developmental checks for infants and children, have been considered as part of the planning for service resumption, and it is of course a priority to restore non-COVID services as soon as possible in a safe and effective way.