Thursday 14 December 2017

State spent €6m on treatment overseas for kids with respiratory problems - despite having technology here

Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin Picture: Damien Eagers
Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin Picture: Damien Eagers

Kathy Armstrong

The State spent almost €6 million sending children with respiratory defects overseas for treatment, even though the technology used is available in Ireland.

Figures obtained by RTE's Morning Ireland show that thirty children with these defects have been sent to the UK and Sweden over the last six years for life-saving ECMO treatment.

ECMO treatment is actually available in Ireland and Our Lady's Children' Hospital Crumlin has three of these machines available, which are used for children with heart defects but those with respiratory problems have been sent overseas.

The hospital has said they aren't funded by the HSE to administer ECMO treatment on children with respiratory problems.

They said in a statement that an application for HSE funding to start carrying out the treatment is being written up.

The HSE has confirmed there are no current plans to start funding ECMO treatment for children with respiratory illnesses here.

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