Nov 16

Hospital Waiting Lists issue for Scoliosis Patients in Ireland

scoliosis
Hospital Waiting Lists issue for Scoliosis Patients in Ireland

Speaking on the ‘RTÉ Investigates’ programme, a woman discussed the suffering endured by both her family and her seven-year old son, who was diagnosed with infantile scoliosis, due to the delay in hospital waiting lists. The young boy was required to undergo spinal bracing and body casing and his condition had deteriorated to the point where his breathing was affected.

She stated that her son’s condition had become so severe that he required further medical attention prior to his surgery. She claims that this could have been avoided if had not been waiting so long for the procedure, which eventually took place in November 2016.

His family are aware that there is a possibility that the young boy will require further surgery, should any complication arise. Along with the possibility of further surgery comes also the possibility that he will end up on yet another waiting list, which he could be on for many months again.

In February of this year, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, announced that a theatre would be opened at Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin for the treatment of children with scoliosis. Minister Harris stated that certain illnesses, such as scoliosis, that have long procedural waiting lists would be targeted. This came after findings which showed incredibly long waiting lists for vital surgeries. He also acknowledged both the mental and physical anguish of both patients and their families on the RTÉ programme.

The theatre, which is specifically for the treatment of patients with scoliosis, is to reduce the waiting lists for the illness, according to Minister Harris. He also stated that by October of this year, there should be no patient awaiting a procedure longer than 15 months. He added that an extra orthopaedic position would be filled at Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin.

Representatives at Crumlin Hospital have apologised to this boy and his family for the long waiting times and process errors that came about in relation to his treatment.

Another woman spoke of her thirteen-year old son’s struggle with the same condition, and how he had also been placed on a waiting list for surgery, even though she was told that he required treatment urgently. She was informed by doctors that it would be more than a year before her son would receive a follow-up appointment.

She reacted to the RTÉ Investigates programme, ‘Living on the List’, by stating that,

“No child should have to suffer the way all those kids were [on that programme]”