Temple St reviews must be published

20 September 2023
  • Smith welcomes call for emergency Health Committee meeting

Labour Health spokesperson Duncan Smith has called for the reports from the internal and external reviews to be released in full, and welcomed Opposition backing for Labour’s call in the Dáil today for a debate this week on clinical standards for children, waiting lists and the shortfall in services.

Deputy Smith said:

“What has been revealed from Temple St Hospital in recent days is deeply disturbing and of huge concern for those families who rely on this service and need surgery. Children suffering from spina bifida, scoliosis and related conditions have been let down by an under-resourced healthcare system for too many years. Our sympathies are with the family who tragically lost a child, and those who have suffered serious complications.

“As a first step towards restoring some confidence, the reports and reviews already done need to be released in full. Secondly, Minister Donnelly should return from New York and take charge of this long crisis, and we need detailed briefings from the Department, the HSE and the hospital.

“Today in the Dáil our Party Leader Ivana Bacik called for an urgent debate this week on the issues, and we welcome the support of other Opposition parties for that stance. I also welcome the calls for an emergency meeting of the Health Committee that would provide some much needed answers.

“What we need to hear now from Government is what the detailed plans are for responding to this crisis; the terms of reference of the investigation; and the specific supports which will be committed to children who may now have to leave the State to receive the care they need at home.

“It’s nearly six years since then-Minister, Simon Harris, said no child would wait longer than four months for a scoliosis procedure by the end of that year. Yet 54 children are waiting for spinal surgery in Temple St and 261 overall.

“For those children waiting for complex spinal surgeries, and critically needed interventions, they and their families need answers now about when they will get access to the critical care they need. For example, if surgeries were to be outsourced abroad then children and parents will need full wrap around care, specialist transport supports, and post operative care however, it won’t be a long term solution and is not a suitable pathway for many.”

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