Ireland's health service is notorious for its long waiting lists. While the HSE (Health Service Executive) offers free healthcare to everyone resident in the Republic of Ireland - much as the NHS does for people in Britain - the system has been frequently criticised for keeping patients waiting for crucial treatment.
Last month, Irish Minister of State for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran Kennedy became the latest person to confront her country's waiting list problem, specifically singling out the long waiting lists for children who require scoliosis surgery
. On the 17th of November, 2016
, The Irish Times
reported that Ms Corcoran Kennedy had called the current waiting times "unacceptable", and that Ireland's Department of Health were "working closely with the HSE to address pressures on the service".
The problem with waiting for scoliosis treatment
If you're not familiar with scoliosis
and how the condition progresses, you might not realise why Ireland's long waiting lists are so harmful for people with curved spines. Curvature of the spine isn't generally regarded as a life-threatening illness, so what difference does it make if scoliosis patients have to wait a little longer to be seen?
The problem is that a spinal curve tends to get worse if left untreated, and this progression can happen extremely rapidly for some people. In an ideal world, every case of scoliosis would be diagnosed at an early stage and treated immediately so as to minimise the condition's impact on each patient's life; in reality, though, many a case goes undiagnosed and untreated until the symptoms (e.g. back pain, reduced mobility, muscular imbalance) become more pronounced and begin to take a significant toll on the patient's quality of life.
And even when a diagnosis is made in a timely fashion, factors such as the waiting lists in Ireland can delay treatment and allow the curve to progress unchecked. The aforementioned Irish Times article mentions a young girl named Mary, who was diagnosed with a 40 degree spinal curve but didn't undergo surgery until 17 months later, by which time her curve had progressed to an angle of more than 100 degrees.
Getting treated at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London
With waiting times in Ireland being what they are, numerous scoliosis sufferers have sought alternative treatment routes in order to get their condition under control ASAP. We have welcomed many Irish patients through the doors of the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London
, where scoliosis sufferers undertake intensive exercise-based treatment courses in order to combat the symptoms of scoliosis without surgery or bracing.
One of our Irish patients is Molly Garvey from Dublin. Molly completed her ScolioGold
course in 2010 and has since returned several times for check-ups - watch the video below to find out what she thinks of us.
If you would like to find out more about our non-surgical scoliosis treatment courses, please contact us today