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Pensioner's anger at having to travel for knee surgery

A pensioner is furious with Northern Ireland politicians who, she said, left her with no option but to spend her savings on knee surgery in Poland.

Christine Wallace was told the wait for her knee replacement surgery could be five years - although the health department says most waits are shorter.

She spent £8,500 on her hospital stay.

While Ms Wallace said the relief of her new knee was fantastic, she felt she had no alternative but to pay as she could no longer live with the pain.

The latest available health department figures, from 31 March, showed 25,075 patients were waiting for inpatient or day case admission under the trauma and orthopaedic surgery specialty.

The department said its median waiting time for such operations was 74 weeks, with only 1 in 20 patients waiting more than five years.

"Our preferred measure of average is the median... because waiting times tend to be skewed by longer waits and therefore more patients are waiting for less time than the mean," said a department statement.

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Source: BBC News, 28 June 2023


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