POLITICS

Newfoundland trying to keep up with timely autism diagnoses: minister

03/20/2014 07:03 EDT | Updated 05/20/2014 05:59 EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's minister of health says the province is struggling to keep up with timely diagnoses of autism.

Susan Sullivan says the government has hired more specialists to address the growing number of children presenting with autism.

Numbers show the average wait time is two years to see someone who can diagnose a child, but that it can take a year to see an occupational therapist for treatment after that.

An estimated 379 people in the province are waiting to get diagnosed.

Liberal Andrew Parsons says more help is needed and that Sullivan said last November that she was working on it, but that little has changed.

Sullivan says four new occupational therapists have been added at Western Health, while two more speech pathologists were hired at Eastern Health and in the Labrador-Grenfell region.

(VOCM)