Monday, January 24, 2022

By Suzanne Pender

A CALL has been made to the minister for health to fast-track surgery for children suffering from spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus often left immobile due to ongoing delays.

Cllr Charlie Murphy put forward a notice of motion at last week’s council meeting, calling on the local authority to write to minister Donnelly to fast-track these children for surgical review as a matter of urgency.

‘We are also calling on the minister for health to ensure that provision of services is made to disabled children within elective hospital settings as well as acute hospital settings to avoid a repeat of this situation in the future,’ the motion read.

Cllr Murphy’s motion was unanimously supported by members.

He pointed out that currently, 82 children require urgent orthopaedic intervention. ‘Lack of surgical intervention has caused their limbs and bodies to become deformed and maimed. Some of these children’s legs are now so badly affected that the soles of their feet permanently rub together, causing open sores and bleeding,’ cllr Murphy’s motion read.

‘Children who have the ability to walk are losing or have lost that ability due to the absence of timely surgical management. Others’ who are manual wheelchair users, due to the same issue, are unable to self-propel themselves effectively, leaving them immobile. The lack of timely surgical intervention means that effectively these children end up requiring more complex surgeries and failing that amputation of limbs.’

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