Ongoing scoliosis crisis is a national disgrace

06 September 2018

Labour spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD, has criticised the Minister for Health for his failure to address the lengthy waiting times for children in need of scoliosis surgery.

This comes as parents and their children are still waiting long beyond the four month waiting time previously promised by Minister Harris.

Deputy Kelly said:

“It is simply unacceptable that any child in this country should have to wait in pain for over a year for potentially life-changing surgery. Minister Harris has made plenty of public promises on this issue, stating that children would not have to wait more than four months for scoliosis treatment, yet parents have had to take to the national airwaves to point out that their children are waiting over a year for surgery.

“At this point it has become a national disgrace that we cannot solve this ongoing crisis that is causing such pain and anguish for children and their parents. These families are under huge pressure to deal with scoliosis day to day. No parent wants to see their child in pain and to be told time after time that the waiting list issue will be solved is heartbreaking for families. 

“It’s been over eighteen months since the RTÉ documentary, Living on the List, highlighted the severe problems that Irish children are going through when it comes to seeking treatment for scoliosis.

“Earlier this summer, a new action plan was created to help solve this crisis, however it is clear from parent testimonies that it is not dealing with the waiting list issue adequately.

“The delayed treatment times are actually impacting on children’s rights. These children who are on the waiting list are unable to live normal lives due to the pain and anxiety. 

“So yet again I’m calling for concrete action to cut the waiting times for scoliosis surgery to alleviate the suffering of children with this condition.”


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