Two-year waiting list for arthritic children
CHILDREN who suffer from arthritis are waiting as much as two years to see a specialist in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.
A total of 373 children are on a paediatric rheumatology outpatient waiting list with 101 of these waiting between 12 and 24 months. A further 86 children have been waiting between six months and a year while just 51 have been given an appointment date.
Consultant paediatric rheumatologist Orla Killeen said the country should have four or five specialist consultants in the area, but that Ireland as a whole only has two.
"We do our best to accommodate urgent cases quickly but we can't always guarantee that. Some on the list are genuine arthritis cases and if we saw them early, it could prevent irreversible joint damage," she said.
Dr Killeen said the international standard is to treat children with joint swelling in six to eight weeks. She said that Crumlin needsmore staff to deal with the waiting list.