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Waterford University Hospital downgrades mean children lose out – Cullinane

16 August, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

David Cullinane, Sinn Féin TD for Waterford, has slammed the HSE for the lack of services for children with special needs in University Hospital Waterford, and for its attitude that parents should “go private”.

Deputy Cullinane said:

“There is absolutely no access to University Hospital Waterford for children with special needs who require general anaesthetic for dental care. This is a shocking state of affairs. The hospital used to allow limited, ad hoc theatre access but this has dried up completely.

“I wrote to the General Manager of University Hospital Waterford about this situation and he informed me that due to the centralisation of cancer services, additional trauma and urology surgical services the theatre is at full capacity.

“He then went on to say that as a possible solution there are ‘private providers from whom the necessary specialist services could be purchased’.

“It is not clear whether he meant that the parents should go private or that Community Services should purchase the private service but either way it is a damning indictment of the HSE that for them an efficient public service is one that excludes children with special needs.

“This is what ‘rationalisation’ and ‘consolidation’ really means: a downgrading of services where children lose out.

“We are already facing the proposed subsuming of the Autism Assessment Team in Waterford into the Children’s Disability Network Teams and given the HSE’s track record on such rationalisations, local parents have a right to be concerned.

“A meeting has been organised for Thursday 8 September in the Tower Hotel to which all public representatives have been invited.

“We need to make sure these issues are addressed as a matter of urgency.” 

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