Waiting Lists Treble in One year; action needed – Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has called for urgent intervention by Government to deal with the Waiting List Crisis. 24,369 people are now waiting more than six months for elective surgery which covers everything from cataract surgery to potentially life-saving cardiac and neurological surgery. ‘There are real people, waiting for life saving treatments and certainly treatments essential to allow a better quality of life such as hip and other orthopaedic surgery. It is clearly unacceptable in the space of twelve months for the number of people waiting for these treatments to treble.’ A waiting list of six months in the internationally recognised figure for adults whilst three months is he recognised target for children. The 2,116 children waiting are included in the overall figure collated by the National Treatment Purchase Fund. ‘There are also huge numbers waiting to get on the waiting lists, people who have been referred to Consultants by their GP, are awaiting diagnostic scans such as MRI and CAT scans. Many are hugely worried about potentially serious diagnosis which could be allayed by these tests being provided promptly.’ Many operations were cancelled at the end of 2014 to keep hospitals within or near budget and at the start of 2015 to try to reduce the numbers in people on trolleys who present as medical emergencies. ‘The reality is that many of those who should be dealt with as elective patients end up presenting as emergencies. Minister Varadkar needs to act to address this crisis. His predecessor essentially destroyed the National Treatment Purchase Fund whilst the failure to deal with the delays in A & E has meant that theatres in many hospitals have lain ideal for a considerable period while patients suffer in their homes. The unrealistic and unsustainable HSE service plan for 2015 will not deal with this situation without ministerial action.’ ENDS