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SCOLIOSIS DELAYS A NATIONAL DISGRACE- KELLY

20 March 2017

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

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

A report from the Children’s Ombudsman has found that some children are waiting up to 18 months for the procedure, more than four times the recommended period.

Commenting on the report, 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. 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.

“We saw in the recent Living on the List programme how the condition of a 13-year-old girl with scoliosis had significantly worsened over a two-year-period, putting her and her family through significant pain and anxiety.

"At the time, I said we should set a six month deadline and fast track treatment for the more than 200 children on the waiting list, which would at least give the public some confidence that we can solve these problems. As the Ombudsman has said, the delayed treatment times are actually impacting on children's rights.

“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."