Children with diabetes in Galway are being forced to travel to Dublin or Limerick for treatment – because a vital medical post has not been filled.
The situation at University Hospital Galway has been described as “scandalous”, with lengthy backlogs already in place, and the post of paediatric diabetes specialist unlikely to be filled before next March.
Galway Fianna Fáil TD Ann Rabbitte said the post has already been vacant for months, forcing families to travel to Dublin for insulin pump therapy. Meanwhile, any new cases diagnoses involving children under the age of five are being referred to Limerick.
“The delay in appointing a paediatric diabetes specialist at UHG is completely unacceptable. Now I’m being told the post will be filled in March 2017 – that’s almost a year away, and in that time, children with diabetes and their families will still have to travel long distances for essential treatment. “The Saolta Hospital Group says it has ‘targeted’ to begin insulin pump starts for ‘at risk young adolescent patients’. What exactly does that mean? When do they anticipate having this treatment available at UHG?
“All newly diagnosed cases in children under five are being referred to Limerick and are unable to use the service which is supposedly being put in place in UHG. “Delays in the service have already resulted in long backlogs of children waiting for treatment, and it remains unclear as to when these waiting lists will be effectively tackled. The fact that a paediatric diabetic specialist will not be in place until at least March 2017 is extremely worrying,” said Deputy Rabbitte.
She said it is unfair that families from the west are being forced to travel long distances for treatment. “The new Minister for Health Simon Harris must not ignore this critically important service. It is unfair to expect children from the west of Ireland and their families to travel long distances to receive treatment which should be available to them at UHG.
“I am calling on Minister Harris to examine this situation and attempt to speed up the process. If we are forced to wait another year for the paediatric diabetic specialist to take up the role at UHG, many more children will be forced on to waiting lists, or expected to make lengthy journeys for essential treatment,” she said.
Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island
Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.
A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.
Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.
It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.
Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.
Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash
A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.
At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.
The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.
Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.
Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.
It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.
In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.
In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”
It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.
“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.
“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”
Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.
The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.