Girl, 17, Faces Paralysis Thanks to Gov’t Health Care Waiting List

A young lady in Ireland fears she may be paralyzed for life because Ireland’s government-run health care service hasn’t gotten around to putting her on the waiting list for the operation she needs — and the waiting list is a year long.

From the Dublin Herald:

A teenage girl will be left paralysed if she does not get urgent surgery on her spine.

Lauren Browne (17) told the Herald that, despite the seriousness of her situation, she is not even on the year-long waiting list for an operation.

Lauren suffers from idiopathic scoliosis and is struggling to get on the list for the life-changing procedure at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, due to severe budget cuts imposed by the HSE.

The operation would drastically improve Lauren’s quality of life and the teen runs the risk of becoming paralysed without it.

“I’m not even on the waiting list. I’m on the waiting list for the waiting list. My surgeon told me that I cannot wait a year. My vertebrae is rotating so rapidly that I have the risk of being paralysed if I wait for the surgery that long.”

Lauren’s quality of life has deteriorated since the diagnosis and she hit out at the HSE for what she feels is its lack of concern.

Lauren said: “The HSE just don’t seem to care. Our cases are not qualified as life threatening, but I have no idea how they don’t consider this to be life threatening. They have no idea what it’s like for me.

“When I was told I would have to wait at least a year, I nearly started crying. It was horrible to hear,” she said…

Ah, well, she’s 17. Her best years are already behind her, right?

Read the rest here.

Watch for The National Center for Public Policy Research’s upcoming new book, Shattered Lives: 100 Stories of Government Health Care, for more on the way waiting lists affect the lives of people living in countries with government-run medicine.

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