Dáil debates

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

2:15 pm

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I wish to raise with the Tánaiste the ongoing scandal of children with scoliosis being left on surgery waiting lists. The four-month target has been missed for 88 children who are in dire need of an operation, some of whom have been waiting more than three years. Those children live in agony and are unable to live a full life. Their parents are frustrated and exhausted from battling the system. They are worn out fighting for access for their children to vital medical treatment and life-changing surgery, which is a battle they should not have to fight. Those who watched the "RTÉ Investigates" programme entitled "Living on the List" did so in horror and grief. It provided a harrowing insight into the daily struggles faced by these children and their families. The Tánaiste may recall that in the aftermath of the programme, the Minister for Health offered apologies and made promises. Those promises have been broken for 88 children, whose days from when they get up until they go to bed are filled with extreme pain and discomfort. I cannot imagine what it must be like for a child to endure that suffering. It is hard to imagine what it is like for the families of those children to watch as the phoney war, which we have seen again this afternoon between the Taoiseach or the Tánaiste and Deputy Micheál Martin is played out. The meaningless, egotistical jousting between the Taoiseach and Deputy Micheál Martin is not new. Rather, it is a feature of the relationship between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil since they partnered up following the 2016 general election. Of course, Fianna Fáil seeks to mask its support for a Fine Gael-led Government------


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