HSE must explain why Cork healthcare provision is at variance with the rest of the country
Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator, Jerry Buttimer, has reiterated his Party’s call for a full review of TB services right across the country, following reports that the number of children infected with the disease has reached 25 in one Cork school.
Senator Buttimer went on to say that full support and information must be made available to staff and parents, not just at Ballintemple National School but at schools throughout the county. The Cork South Central Senator also said that a drop-in clinic where children can go to be tested should be set-up to alleviate the concern of parents.
“News that the number of children infected at Ballintemple National School has reached 25 will come as a tremendous shock to parents who will no doubt have grave reservations about sending their children back to school as the new school year commences.
“The HSE, working in conjunction with the management of Ballintemple National School, must ensure that the appropriate information regarding the disease, and how the situation is being handled, is being made readily available to all parents of children at the school. This move must be replicated for schools in the surrounding area.
“Cork has been allowed to fall by the wayside in the past where TB, and many other, services are concerned. Yesterday I revealed that nearly 40% of the children on the waiting list for orthodontic assessment throughout the country are in the HSE South area. Cork has been reported as having a higher than average incidence of TB and the people of Cork had the BCG vaccination programme discontinued for 30 years, only to have it reintroduced just two years ago, despite the fact that it continued to be available throughout the rest of the country.
“TB has never left Ireland and serious questions remain as to why Cork was cut off in this way.
“Fine Gael has been calling for an urgent review of TB services nationally as a matter of priority. Furthermore, I am calling on the HSE to explain why the people of Cork are at variance, when it comes to healthcare provision, to the rest of the country. In the meantime, it must ensure that every support is made available in the region so that parents are kept fully informed about any impending risk to their child’s health.”