CF units '20 staff short of EU standard'
Some hospital cystic fibrosis units are 20 staff short of what is needed by European standards, it was claimed yesterday,
There are around 1,200 people with cystic fibrosis in Ireland and the country has the highest rate of the disease per head of population in the world.
The pressure on services was revealed as Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Week was launched, during which a bid to raise €65,000 will be made.
Philip Watt, chief executive of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, said people with the condition were now in a new era of hope.
However, he said: "If this is to be sustained, it must be supported by the next government in tackling major staffing shortages and ensuring access to groundbreaking drugs for people with cystic fibrosis."
Mr Watt said the lung-transplant programme in Ireland successfully carried out 37 transplants on people with cystic fibrosis between 2013 and 2015 thanks to the excellent surgical team in the Mater Hospital and the generosity of people willing to donate organs.
"Groundbreaking drugs, such as Kalydeco, are tackling the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis for 11pc of the population with the condition.
"But there is uncertainty that the HSE will pay for an innovative new drug - Orkambi - that has the potential to impact on 50pc of the cystic fibrosis population in Ireland," he added.
The median age of death of people with CF has doubled since the late 1980s, when it was just 13.4 years of age, to 27 years.