Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that promises made by Government, the HSE, and the CHI Hospital Group are insufficient without clear timelines and funding commitments to deliver advances in paediatric orthopaedics.
Teachta Cullinane said that, nearly five years on from the Children’s Ombudsman’s highly critical report on failures to treat scoliosis in children, we are still hearing that there are insufficient specialist staff and theatre capacity.
The Waterford TD said:
“Promises have been made before on scoliosis treatment and investment in paediatric orthopaedics.
“Without a clear timeframe for delivery backed up by funding commitments, promises and insufficient.
“Nearly five years on from the Children’s Ombudsman’s highly critical report on failures to treat scoliosis in a timely fashion, we are still hearing the same from the frontline.
“Paediatric orthopaedic consultants told us in the Health Committee this morning that there are still deficiencies in specialist staffing levels, access to and the number of surgical theatres, and a lack of safely staffed paediatric critical care and high dependency beds.
“Clearly, not enough has been done in the last four to five years to boost capacity in paediatric orthopaedics for the treatment of scoliosis, spina bifida, and other conditions.
“Children are being left in pain, waiting too long for treatment, and are up against cancelled procedures because of a lack of reserved beds for their procedures.
“Long waits and cancellations, along with the conditions themselves, have a real psychological toll on these children.
“We need to put the resources in and give our specialist the tools to do the work and that starts with an honest and fully funded delivery plan, with a clear timeframe.”