Families 'devastated' as surgery target for children with scoliosis shelved
The parents of 210 children with severe scoliosis were devastated last night after it emerged the four-month target for their surgery is being abandoned.
The Government and the HSE earlier this year promised that no child with the spinal condition would be waiting more than four months for surgery by the end of December.
But Claire Cahill of Scolionetwork, which represents parents of children with the condition, said they were informed the target would be shelved.
Ms Cahill, from Kilkenny, whose young son Darragh faced a gruelling wait before being operated on for scoliosis and is now left with respiratory problems as a result of the delay, said the HSE had stalled for weeks in making an announcement about the decision to abandon the target.
Around €10m was set aside to arrange surgery for the children in Our Lady's Hospital Crumlin, Temple Street, Cappagh Hospital the at hospitals in the UK and Germany.
However, several children were too ill to travel and families were unable to go abroad in other cases.
Ms Cahill said last night that 210 children were now waiting for surgery and 55 of them had faced a delay of more than a year.
The theatre in Our Lady's Hospital Crumlin lies idle for most of the week because of a lack of surgeons and nurses.
The families now fear their children will be back to waiting 18 months for surgery.
The Department of Health was unable to respond last night and said it would make a statement today.