Social Democratic and Labour Party Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath MLA has described the findings of a report by the Children’s Commissioner into health service waiting lists as ‘horrifying’ for parents seeking to secure treatment.
The report found that 17,194 children were waiting more than a year for an appointment with a consultant and 24 children waited more than a year following confirmed or suspected cancers.
Colin McGrath MLA said:
“This report should be a wake-up call for political leaders and everyone working to shape health policy. The scale of the waiting list crisis is significant and the price of the failure to address it to date is falling on sick children. That is totally unacceptable.
“This report will be horrifying reading for parents trying to get their children the support and treatment that they need. 24 children in our communities with confirmed or suspected cancers were forced to wait more than a year for an appointment with a consultant. We all know that every day matters in situations like this, I can’t begin to imagine the trauma that waiting so long has had on these kids and their families. To subject them to that is cruel and unjust.
“The Children’s Commissioner makes a compelling case for change. And while I accept that the pandemic has had a clear impact on waiting lists, there really is no excuse for these figures. I will be raising this with the Health Minister as a matter of urgency. This must be a number one priority.”