There are currently more than 200 children waiting on scoliosis procedures. That is up 25% in two years, and almost half of these children are waiting for more than six months. This makes a mockery of the promised made by Deputy Harris, as Minister for Health, some three years ago, that no patient would wait more than four months.
Serious delays in scoliosis surgery have been a huge problem long before the pandemic. As children wait for their surgery, they are not able to live a full life. Some live in pain from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night.
Children with scoliosis should not have to stand at the Dáil protesting their situation but, sadly, that is what young Sophie Redmond had to do. I spoke to the Taoiseach about Ms Redmond last week.
The Taoiseach needs to face up to this problem now. These children and their families need real action. They need a plan from the Government and that means more specialists and nurses, and more beds to reduce waiting times.
I ask the Taoiseach to respond to those 200 children currently waiting on their scoliosis procedures. What is his message to them?