Councillor Al McDonnell

Minister must expediate surgical intervention for Spina Bifida patients

THE members of Mayo County Council have called on the Minister for Health to expedite orthopaedic intervention for Spina Bifida patients currently awaiting urgently required surgery.

There was full support for a motion put forward by Councillor Al McDonnell at the authority's monthly meeting this week.

Councillor McDonnell said he wants the council to write to the minister urgently about the matter.

Spina Bifida requires regular surgical intervention in children, in at least two-year intervals, otherwise patients suffer serious physical deterioration.

At the moment there are close to 100 people where the two-year period has expired.

There is a coordinated effort nationwide, he said, where hopefully every council will write to the minister about the issue.

“It is a matter of extreme urgency that these people are seen,” said Councillor McDonnell.

“Early intervention is always very important,” Councillor Damien Ryan reiterated. “In this situation it is absolutely critical.”

The excuse given by the department was that it was Covid-related, said Councillor Michael Kilcoyne. That was just an excuse and he highlighted other areas where there are postponements, such as breast cancer screening.

“We need to be doing more than just passing motions,” he said. “It is frightening.”

Supporting the motion, Councillor Neil Cruise said this is a quality of life issue. If surgeries are put back it has huge affects, particularly on young Spina Bifida sufferers.