Cllr John Paul Feeley (FF).

Call for action to tackle waiting lists

The Health Minister has been called on to increase funding to clear the waiting list for procedures for children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Cllr John Paul Feeley (FF) claimed “treatment is being withheld because of delays”. A shortage of funding is leading to a backlog in cases, which often require prompt treatment if long-term effects and issues are to be avoided.

Spina bifida is a condition where a baby’s spine does not form correctly when in the womb. Surgery carried out soon after birth can close the gap in the spinal column. However, Cllr Feeley said some families are facing “huge” delays “of up to 18 months”.

He has urged the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to “look at the situation”.

Independent Councillor Brendan Fay spoke in support of the motion, highlighting Ireland’s high incidence rate of the condition. He said one in every 1,000 babies born here has spina bifida.

Cllr TP O’Reilly (FG) urged prompt action as the issue is affecting the “most vulnerable in our society”.

Councillors unanimously backed the motion, with a letter now to be sent to the Minister calling for an increase in funding.


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