Failure of Health Minister to communicate with families impacted by CHI catastrophe outrageous

26 September 2023

Speaking during statements on Children’s Health Ireland in the Dáil today, Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith said:

“The Minister’s statement in the House today was utterly disappointing. He didn’t say anything today that he couldn’t have said last week when this scandal emerged.

“Instead of communication and clarity, parents of the children impacted were left to worry and wonder about what was going on.

“It’s hard to emphasise just how let down these families feel. It is, almost without peer, one of the worst scandals that has emerged in the health service.

“Children suffering from spina bifida, scoliosis and related conditions have been let down by an under-resourced healthcare system for too many years. The failure to tackle waiting lists has been well highlighted by myself and others in opposition, but what is so worrying about recent events is that it took place in the theatre, a place where we thought was safe.

“The Minister has done little today to restore confidence in the service, and in this Government’s plan to address chronic waiting lists for urgent care. 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.

“How is Government accepting these failures?”

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