Dáil debates

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

2:15 pm

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Many Deputies have dealt with children, parents and families who are impacted by scoliosis. We are aware of the pressures involved and the need for early intervention, given how scoliosis develops. There is much stress, frustration and anger among many parents. That is why the Government and the Minister for Health, Deputy Harris, have prioritised this area for rapid progress. As more than 420 children have been treated this year compared with just over 200 two years ago, we have more than doubled the delivery in terms of operations. There is a plan in place which involves increased theatre time and the allocation of new consultants, who are being appointed. We are not yet where we need to be but we are investing heavily and have a plan in place specifically to target scoliosis because of the nature of the condition and the stress it causes in order that families and children can get the treatment they need within the target set by the Minister, Deputy Harris.

On the other commentary, unlike Deputy McDonald's party, at least Fianna Fáil engaged at a time when the country needed a Government and when her party showed no interest whatsoever in providing the kind of stability that has delivered in many areas in the past two years. The rate of unemployment is at 5.1% today. Seven years ago, that figure was over 15%. Stable Government, when it works, delivers and while Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will have their differences, I am sure they are parties that have worked together in the national interest and have delivered significantly in the past two years. When the Deputy is asking people to cop themselves on, she might reflect on that.


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