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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Patients experience six-month delays for vital neurological services

A damning Neurological Alliance Ireland report shows that the state of neurological care in Ireland is “grossly inadequate”, says a leading consultant neurologist.

A patient is examined during a scan.
A patient is examined during a scan.
Image: Yves Logghe/AP/Press Association Images

SOME 42 PER CENT of patients suffering from neurological disorders in Ireland experience a six-month delay for vital services, according to the first nationwide survey on the state of neurological care in this country.

The survey carried out by Neurological Alliance Ireland (NAI) shows a mounting crisis in neurological care for conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, migraine, Alzheimer’s disease, acquired brain injury and multiple sclerosis. Some 38 per cent of people with neurological conditions wait longer than 6 months to be diagnosed, 42 per cent of patients experience more than a 6 month delay in receiving vital services, and the majority waiting for consultant neurology services, according to the survey.

  • 38 per cent waited longer than 6 months to be diagnosed
  • 42 per cent experienced more than 6 month delay in receiving vital services
  • 58 per cent identified shorter waiting times to see a consultant as the change that would have greatest impact
  • 81 per cent view voluntary organisations as essential or very important in providing services and support

Professor Orla Hardiman said that the survey proved the state of neurological care in Ireland was “grossly inadequate”, pointing out that neurological conditions now affect almost one fifth of the population. Most worryingly, Hardiman said that a number of respondents reported that they could not access certain services at all.

“The next government must make neurological care their top priority for health,” she said.

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