Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Health, Senator Marc Mac Sharry has said the offer by surgeons to undertake operations on children with severe spinal difficulties is a great opportunity to deliver essential care and should be facilitated.

“The public offer by Dr. Pat Kiely this weekend and his comments that free implants have been donated for the purposes of ending the pain of children who are in need of spinal surgery is a very welcome development.  Surgeons are willing to carry out more operations for free but cannot because the costs of securing theatre space, surgical support staff and appropriate after-care cannot be covered.  This is an opportunity that should not be let go.”

“This issue has been raised with the Minister for Health James Reilly and I am urging the Minister to ensure a plan is put in place to co-ordinate the offer of pro bono operations and donated implants with the HSE and the surgeons concerned.  This is a genuine opportunity to deliver important care for young people and it should be seized upon.”

Senator Mac Sharry concluded: “I believe the HSE’s €14bn budget can and should be able to accommodate these special cases.  There are significant challenges facing our hospitals and the HSE in the months and years ahead but there have been issues highlighted in recent weeks, not least the misappropriating of €100m earmarked for the Fair Deal scheme, which show that the mismanagement of money is a significant problem.”