Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Anne Rabbitte has called on the Health Minister to outline when the position of Paediatric Diabetes Specialist at University Hospital Galway will be filled.  More than four months after the launch of the new model of care for children with diabetes, the post at UHG is still vacant.

Deputy Rabbitte commented, “The need for a paediatric diabetes specialist at University Hospital Galway cannot be underestimated.  There are serious delays in children in the region having access to specialist treatment.  Children have to travel to Dublin for insulin pump therapy, which is recognised as the as the main treatment option for kids with Type 1 diabetes.  The fact that this treatment is not available in Galway is completely unacceptable, and while I welcome moves to change this under the new model of care launched last December, I am extremely disappointed at the pace of the progress so far.

“The current system whereby children from Galway are forced to travel to Dublin for treatment creates an additional strain on families, who have to take time out from work and school to make the journey for a service which should be available at UHG.  This limited service is also creating major backlogs in the system, with children having to wait for months for treatment.

“I am calling on the acting Health Minister Leo Varadkar to give a definitive timeline as to when a paediatric diabetes specialist in UHG will be in place.  This is a critically important service, which children in the Western region have been deprived of for some time.  It is unacceptable to allow this position to lay vacant for months on end, while children and their families are being forced to travel hundreds of kilometres to receive treatment which should be available at UHG”.