Brady criticises government for percieved failure of Scoliosis patients

Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has criticised the failure of the three government TDs in Wicklow to support a Sinn Féin motion on Scoliosis which set out exactly how Sinn Féin, in cooperation with parents, advocates, and clinicians, would implement change.

Children with scoliosis and their families protested outside the Dáil in support of the Sinn Féin motion on Tuesday evening, including families from Wicklow.

Brady said: “Government failure has led to a growing crisis affecting children with scoliosis and the alarming increase in waiting lists for necessary surgeries. As a parent this has particular resonance for me, as one of my daughters battles this condition with a significant 45-degree curve in her spine.

Not that long ago it used to be the common practice that a public health nurse would carry out a simple yet effective exam for early detection—the Adams forward bend test. This allowed for the early identification of scoliosis.

However, in 2011, due to budget cuts, this crucial screening tool was discontinued. Consequently, children like my daughter are now being diagnosed later, if at all, leading to missed opportunities for early intervention.

The repercussions of delayed diagnosis are severe and far reaching. By the time scoliosis is detected in many cases, it’s too late for non-invasive measures such as bracing to be effective.

Surgery becomes the only viable option, and tragically, the waiting lists for these procedures continue to grow longer, leaving countless children suffering in pain and discomfort. There are currently at least 313 children waiting for life changing surgery.

The responsibility for this crisis falls squarely on the shoulders of the government, which has failed our children at every turn. From neglecting early detection efforts to inadequately addressing the backlog of surgical cases, their inaction has left families like mine feeling abandoned and desperate for solutions.

The Government must reinstate essential screening programs, investing in resources for timely diagnosis and treatment, and ensuring that no child languishes on a waiting list when their quality of life hangs in the balance.

My daughter, and every child affected by scoliosis, deserves better.”

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