Minister must act on scandalous waiting times for gynaecology services in CUMH - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Cork South Central Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has expressed his dismay at the failure of Minister for Health Simon Harris to meet with consultants to try and resolve the ongoing outrageous waiting lists at CUMH.
Speaking today Teachta Ó Laoghaire said;
"I am extremely concerned at the minister's postponement of a crucial meeting with consultant gynaecologists at CUMH to resolve appalling waiting times for women, some who have been told they will be waiting ‘at least’ 129 weeks for treatment.
“The fact that 4,349 women are now on the outpatient waiting list, up from 4,193 last November, demands drastic action from the minister and the government as a whole. These are the highest lists in Ireland. The situation can not just be shrugged off and pushed back.
“Women are dealing with a host of debilitating health issues. They should not languish on a waiting list in pain.
“The seriousness of this issue cannot be downplayed. Dr Louise Kenny of the CUMH told the Oireachtas Health Committee on 19th January, in what was a striking and shocking contribution, that ‘if, early foetal onset growth restriction or grave foetal abnormalities, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which would be amenable to surgery, potentially ex-utero, are not picked up, it will increase the mortality from those conditions. Babies will and do die as a direct result of a lack of access to ultrasounds.'
“So it is clear that the lack of full cover for 20-22 week scans means cases are missed. That is a frightening situation which cannot be lightly dismissed.
“I have previously written to the minister asking him to deal with this crisis. It is utterly unacceptable that this meeting was delayed and I will be demanding an explanation this week, and calling on the minister not to keep kicking this issue to touch.
“This is an issue that can be solved if the will exists within the department of health and CUH management.
“Theatres are currently operating at only 40pc of capacity and the CUMH is not being given adequate opportunity to keep consultants on.
“Theatre One and Two need to be opened up five days a week and it is crucial that a gynaecology day unit be opened and one stop shop be developed.
“CUMH has waiting lists far in excess of other comparable hospitals, at absolutely scandalous levels.
“Sinn Féin’s Comhliosta proposals, which is about an efficient shared waiting list across hospitals, would reduce the pressure on the CUMH considerably.”