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Wait-erford Waterford man finally gets orthopaedic appointment after almost a decade

Francis scheduled the visit in University Hospital Waterford back in autumn 2012


University Hospital Waterford

University Hospital Waterford

University Hospital Waterford

A man has spoken of his shock after waiting more than nine years for an appointment with an orthopedic consultant.

Francis, who has been living in Ireland for the past 32 years, scheduled the visit in University Hospital Waterford back in autumn 2012 and had been waiting to be seen by an orthopaedic specialist ever since.

He finally got an appointment “out of the blue” last week – nine years and four months later.

Speaking on WLRfm, Francis explained that he assumed his “file had gone missing” and was shocked when he got a letter about his visit.

“I have a problem with my back. I get very bad pains in the bottom part of my back. I'm on painkillers,” he said.

“Sometimes the pain can get very bad. If I’m sitting down, I can’t get back up and if I’m up, I can’t get back down. If I drop something to pick it up, I have to go down very slowly. That’s the way it is.

“For the first couple of years, I asked my GP for any news [on the appointment] and she said she hadn’t heard anything. After that, I never followed up with it. I thought it was them who would contact me with an appointment.

However, he said that the long waiting time has left him with severe damage to his back.

“Out of the blue, I got an appointment which was last Monday... I couldn’t believe it. I was seen by a doctor and after that he said we had to do an x-ray, which he did. He looked at it and said, ‘There’s so much damage there.’

“He said there’s one part where there’s no cartilage left between two bones. He said we’d have to open it and put something in between.

“I told him I’d been waiting almost 10 years [to be seen to]. He said we’d have to do an MRI scan and we’d decided what to do after that.

“He said he’d put it forward and I’d hopefully get one as quickly as possible but who knows how quick that is. I’ll just have to wait.”

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