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422 children are on waiting lists for operations at Our Lady's Hospital. Photocall Ireland
children's hospitals

Calls for immediate action on a new children's hospital following revelations about operating theatres lying empty

A report by the HSE reveals that theatres are underused in children’s hospitals, and that reform is needed in the management of facilities.

A CHARITY REPRESENTING children in hospital says that a new report which reveals that operating theatres in three hospitals in Dublin are underused highlights the need for a single central facility for children in the capital.

The unpublished report, compiled by the HSE, also shows that reform of planning and management of operations at Temple Street, Our Lady’s in Crumlin and Tallaght hospital is necessary to reduce waiting lists.

The report says that Temple Street and Our Lady’s hospitals are underusing theatre time by 28 per cent, and Tallaght by 17 per cent, but that the underusage is not as a result of a lack of money or staff.

Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Children in Hospital charity told TheJournal.ie that it is highly likely that the necessity to spread specialists out among the various facilities around Dublin is a factor, and that this is contributing to longer waiting lists.

She says:

Anything that impacts on a child getting into hospital in a timely fashion is not acceptable. This highlights the need for a single site in Dublin. Imagine how much greater the economies of scale would be if everything was under one roof?

The Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly told RTE that lessons must be learned about what is not working at individual sites, before a single, central facility is built. The HSE review was commissioned in advance of the development of a national children’s hospital.

Figures show that there are 530 children on waiting lists for planned operations, with some waiting over two years for a procedure.

Read more about the HSE report on RTE.ie>

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