Updated: 07/12/16 : 06:45:28
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Children Suffer as Govt ignore crisis in care of Juvenile Arthrithis

Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo Leitrim, Marc MacSharry has said that an additional Rhematologist, Support Team and Regional Treatment Clinics is critical in the treatment of children suffering with Juvenile Arthrithis.

MacSharry commented, “Children with juvenile Arthritis are suffering at the hands of lengthy waiting lists, under-resourcing and the Government’s blind ambivalence to the urgent need for a solution to this ongoing crisis.

“Crumlin Children’s Hospital is known as the Irish ‘Centre of Excellence’ in rheumatology for children. Yet, children have to wait over two years, in pain, before they are seen by a Rheumatologist. There are only two Rheumatologists in Crumlin and as a matter of routine they are required to cover general medical work at the hospital instead of doing the work that they are specialised to deal with.

“In addition, children already ill risk further deterioration as a result of over booked clinics and cancelled and postponed appointments."

'Unacceptable Deficit'

Deputy MacSharry continued, “The urgent recruitment and appointment of a third Rheumatologist with the appropriate support team and resources is absolutely essential to deal with the unacceptable deficit in the care of children suffering with juvenile arthritis.  

“This Rheumatologist is urgently required to facilitate regional outreach clinics in hospitals throughout the country so that children suffering in pain from this debilitating illness can carry on with their education while receiving treatment. It is crucial for our services to normalise their already difficult and challenging young lives.

“The Children suffering with Juvenile Arthritis and their families continue to be largely ignored by a system which has too few child Rheumatology professionals available. Inadequate resources and geographical coverage further contribute to an already pressurised system which struggles to provide the care that these young children deserve.

“The Government cannot continue with this approach. These children deserve better and cannot be permitted to continue in pain without the timely treatment that is required.  

“The Minister must immediately direct the recruitment of a third specialist in Child Rheumatology and ensure the establishment of periodic outreach clinics throughout the country. Our Children deserve no less,” concluded the Sligo based TD.