Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte has described as scandalous confirmation that a paediatric diabetic specialist at University Hospital Galway will not be appointed until March 2017. The post at UHG has been vacant for months, forcing families to travel to Dublin for insulin pump therapy.
Deputy Rabbitte commented, “The delay in appointing a paediatric diabetic specialist at UHG is completely unacceptable. Now I’m being told the post will be filled in March 2017 – that’s almost a year away, and in that time children with diabetes and their families will still have to travel long distances for essential treatment.
“The Saolta Hospital Group says it has “targeted” to begin insulin pump starts for “at risk young adolescent patients”. What exactly does that mean? When do they anticipate having this treatment available at UHG? All newly diagnosed cases in children under 5 are being referred to Limerick and are unable to use the service which is supposedly being put in place in UHG.
“Delays in the service have already resulted in long backlogs of children waiting for treatment, and it remains unclear as to when these waiting lists will be effectively tackled. The fact that a paediatric diabetic specialist will not be in place until at least March 2017 is extremely worrying.
“The new Minister for Health Simon Harris must not ignore this critically important service. It is unfair to expect children from the west of Ireland and their families to travel long distances to receive treatment which should be available to them at UHG. I am calling on Minister Harris to examine this situation and attempt to speed up the process. If we are forced to wait another year for the paediatric diabetic specialist to take up the role at UHG, many more children will be forced on to waiting lists, or expected to make lengthy journeys for essential treatment. This is not an acceptable situation”.