Friday 26 May 2017

Children put at risk of hip problems over delays

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

Doctors have reported a rise in children who are suffering hip problems. Children are being put at risk of developing a limp because they are being diagnosed late, doctors warned yesterday.

The pressure on overstretched doctors working in Health Service Executive (HSE) community areas means than some infants are not getting timely checks, said Dr Bridin Cannon at the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) annual conference.

Dr Cannon also said that doctors are struggling to provide vaccinations such as the cervical cancer vaccine and the swine flu vaccine, which they must prioritise.

She said a lack of computer back up also means that these community doctors are unaware of how many shots of a particular vaccine a child may have had and whether they have had the full course.

Other doctors condemned the failure to roll out a screening programme to detect hearing problems for children across the country.

Delay

Dr Mary Francis said diagnosing a hearing problem late can lead to long-term disability. The audiology services are woefully under resourced, she added.

Although the first phase of the roll out of a national screening programme began in Cork last week, it will take two years to be extended to all babies.

The start up is already behind schedule and it was originally promised for children in Wexford also but was scrapped, Dr Francis said.

Meanwhile, the conference was told that criticism of the failure to fully implement the Croke Park agreement was unfair and €350m in savings had already been made in the running costs of the public service.

Chief executive of the IMO George McNeice said the organisation remains committed to the principles of the agreement and doctors should be at the heart of the transformation process.

Irish Independent

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