Seanad Group Leader, Senator Catherine Ardagh has said the health of the children left languishing on waiting lists for outpatient specialist appointments at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin will no doubt deteriorate without receiving the right treatment in time.
The latest paediatric outpatient waiting list figures indicate that the number of children enduring a wait of more than a year and a half is higher than ever before in Ireland.
In Our Ladies Hospital, Crumlin alone there are 477 children waiting 18 months plus for a Cardiology appointment, 822 waiting 18 months or more for an appointment with Dermatology while just close to 700 are enduring a wait of over 18 months for Ophthalmology. A further 475 children are left waiting for an appointment with Rheumatology for 18 plus months.
Commenting on the figures, the Dublin based Senator Ardagh said, “Its’ been 6 months since Minister Simon Harris detailed how his Department would tackle outpatient waiting lists and yet they have now exceeded the 10,000 mark for the first time ever.
“Almost 99% of children waiting for a specialist appointment in Ireland are waiting more than 18 months for it in one of three Dublin Children’s hospitals.
“The children waiting on these appointments include those that urgently require specialist treatment for conditions such as Scoliosis, heart or vascular defects or chronic Eczema. It is a matter of fact that without the timely, appropriate and necessary intervention from specialists, their health can worsen.
“It’s understood that an Outpatient Action Plan for 2018 is it at draft stage despite the fact that we’re now in the month of June. This is not good enough; far from it.
She concluded, “There is absolutely no doubt that these gruelling delays are putting children’s long-term health and quality of life at risk.”