Thursday, 16 December 2021
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
If this was simply a matter of money, political will or compassion, it would have been solved a long time ago. I know of the major efforts that have been made in recent years to improve the situation, whether it is sending children to Germany and England, or new theatres and additional funding. There are periods during which it has been improved, and waiting lists have been shortened, but then things go backwards again. That is, unfortunately, the problem and the situation we have been in for a very long time. The difficulty often relates to finding skilled medical and non-medical staff willing to do this work and to continue to do it for years on end. That has also been a real difficulty.
As I said, the HSE service plan is only in draft form. I can confirm it will include very significant investment to increase scoliosis surgeries at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital and the Children's Health Ireland hospitals at Temple Street and Crumlin. I hope the HSE and those hospitals are able to spend that money next year because they will have it.