Chil­dren of­fered sco­l­io­sis surgery in Ger­many

Irish Independent - - NEWS - Eil­ish O’Re­gan Health Cor­re­spon­dent

SOME Ir­ish chil­dren who need an ur­gent op­er­a­tion for the se­vere spinal con­di­tion sco­l­io­sis will be of­fered surgery in a Ger­man hos­pi­tal.

The HSE is to out­source the surgery to St Franziskus Hos­pi­tal in Mun­ster, Ger­many, as well as to HCA In­ter­na­tional which runs UK health fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing Portland Hos­pi­tal in Lon­don , the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent has learned.

The out­sourc­ing of surgery for chil­dren, some of whom have been wait­ing two years, fol­lows a re­newed pledge by Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar that every ef­fort will be made to ful­fil the prom­ise that no child will be wait­ing longer than four months for sco­l­io­sis surgery at the end of the year.

There are still around 300 chil­dren wait­ing for sco­l­io­sis surgery.

A spokes­woman for the Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Group said the surgery is be­ing shared by Our Lady’s Hos­pi­tal in Crum­lin and Tem­ple Street young pa­tients have also had the surgery in the Mater Hos­pi­tal and Cap­pagh Hos­pi­tal in Dublin.


Some chil­dren have al­ready been op­er­ated on at the Na­tional Orthopaedic Hos­pi­tal in Stan­more in Lon­don.

“Re­duc­ing wait­ing times for chil­dren with sco­l­io­sis is a pri­or­ity,” said the spokes­woman.

“For the first time in a num­ber of years the wait­ing list for sco­l­io­sis surgery is re­duc­ing. How­ever, an out­sourc­ing ini­tia­tive has been nec­es­sary to sup­port this four-month tar­get.”

The new the­atre in Crum­lin which opened in April is now op­er­at­ing three days a week, and a new orthopaedic sur­geon started in early Septem­ber.

Claire Cahill, the Kilkenny mother who co-founded Sco­l­ioNet­work, said par­ents are to get a full up­date next week on the plan to cut the wait­ing times.

She said ask­ing fam­i­lies to travel to main­land Europe can be dis­rup­tive but if it means chil­dren ac­cess­ing treat­ment then it’s pos­i­tive.

Par­ents re­main very cau­tious about the tar­get be­ing met but have no­ticed more young chil­dren are be­ing called for surgery in the last two weeks.

A pae­di­atric sco­l­io­sis group was es­tab­lished in March which in­cludes the three ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The three chil­dren’s hos­pi­tals have sub­mit­ted a fund­ing pro­posal to the HSE for a “sus­tain­able” sco­l­io­sis ser­vice in 2018.

The new the­atre in Crum­lin was not op­er­a­tional for sev­eral months ear­lier this year due to a lack of nurses un­til a suc­cess­ful re­cruit­ment cam­paign.

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