Sinn Féin Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has described delays in spinal surgeries in Tallaght Hospital as ‘cruel and dangerous’.
The Sinn Féin TD was responding to a reply he received to a Parliamentary Question he submitted to the Minister for Health Simon Harris which advised that the waiting time for spinal surgery is exceeding 18 months.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“A reply to a Parliamentary Question I submitted has confirmed that a surge in Emergency admissions in Tallaght University Hospital has resulted in a reduction in all elective surgery activity over the winter months and this is now being blamed for delays exceeding 18 months for spinal surgery.
“I summited this question after hearing personal stories from two separate constituents. One claimed she was for waiting, in pain, over 28 months for vital surgery for scoliosis in Tallaght Hospital and another is waiting 30 months, also in chronic pain, and in need of spinal fusion. Unfortunately, these are just two sample cases from a mountain of patients waiting longer and longer for their life changing operations.
“It is cruel and dangerous, and many people are being left for years on extremely addictive drugs that can cause other negative and unforeseen reactions.
“Some of the Tallaght cases are being moved to the Mater in an effort to reduce the backlog. The backlog is a symptom of the health care crisis and a shortage of beds in the hospital system.
“Tallaght University Hospital has a brownfield site that could deliver additional beds to the hospital in 18 months. The other bonus is that the construction would not impact negatively on the day to running of the hospital. It just needs the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Minister Simon Harris to sign off on the build.
“Minister Harris and the HSE need to be more proactive on this issue. Many patients like the constituents I met are in real and chronic pain. In some cases they have been left waiting years on waiting lists that are effectively going nowhere.
“The Minister and the HSE are in a position of power to reduce the waiting lists and the trolley crisis into the future. They need sign off on this construction project and deliver more hospital beds where they are needed.”