We pay Czech surgeon to jet in to treat our children
A SURGEON is being jetted in to Ireland from the Czech Republic to treat children here.
Ondrej Adamec resigned his post in Drogheda, Co Louth last December -- but is now being flown in once a fortnight to continue his work.
HSE officials say that the doctor is being brought to Ireland because authorities have not yet found a replacement for the position of consultant orthopaedic surgeon to treat children at the town's Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital .
He resumed work at the hospital a fortnight after quitting after agreeing to accept an offer from the HSE, which included paid return flights from Prague to Dublin and covering his accommodation costs.
The consultant is being paid in line with nationally agreed contracts for locum provision.
The flight costs are €178.59 and the hospital has a rented house where locums stay, a HSE spokeswoman said.
She told the Herald: "Management of Louth Meath Hospital Group confirm that a visiting consultant works two days a fortnight seeing paediatric patients only.
"He previously was the permanent consultant orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in paediatrics in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital."
The arrangement involving Mr Adamec has been in place since January 9 following his resignation from the job of permanent consultant on December 17 last year.
"While the process to fill this consultant post on a permanent basis is ongoing, Louth Meath Hospital Group wish to state that if the consultant did not agree to the current arrangement then the hospital would have no orthopaedic consultant available to deal exclusively with paediatric patients," the spokeswoman said.
"This would mean that such a service could not be provided in the region," she added.
The HSE is in the process of replacing Mr Adamec on a permanent basis.
"There is funding for this post and the application is in progress. When completed, it has to be submitted to the CAU (Consultant Appointment Unit) for approval. Then it will be advertised by the PAS (Public Appointment Service)," the spokeswoman said.
The HSE says eight orthopaedic surgeons work at the hospital.
Recent data shows there are in the region of 111 children waiting for elective day-case procedures in Our Lady of Lourdes. Some 72 were waiting for between six and 12 months, the figures from December show.
A further 39 were waiting between three and six months. Some 54 children were on the hospital's in-patient elective procedure waiting list.