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Ombudsman must bring age discrimination to an end

The IMO wants the Children’s Ombudsman to ensure that children are not being deprived of medical services simply because of their age.

New IMO President, Dr John Duddy

New IMO President, Dr John Duddy

New IMO President Dr John Duddy revealed that with two- to three-year waiting lists for paediatric spinal surgery in Crumlin and two-year waits for paediatric neurology procedures in Temple St and Crumlin Hospitals, these long waiting times were “purely because of their age”.

Dublin GP Dr Mark Murphy said he had countless examples, in ENT, orthopaedics, and neurology, where frequently in Temple St and Crumlin there was a two-year outpatient waiting list, due to “massive underfunding and capital malinvestment over many years”.

One only had to compare the state of the two main children’s hospitals in Dublin — Temple St and Crumlin — with the new hospitals at St Vincent’s and the Mater to realise that health services for children and adolescents were not equivalent to those of adult services, suggested Dr Duddy on a further linked motion.

His fellow NCHD Committee member Dr John Donnellan, who recently started working in Temple St, was approached one day by a very senior colleague who has since, only weeks ago, retired.

“When she started in Temple St, she was told, ‘Don’t get comfortable — the new paediatric hospital is coming!’ I don’t think there is any other example of an adult hospital in the country where somebody has managed to serve their entire career still waiting for another hospital to open.”

dara.gantly@imt.ie

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