Number of people on waiting lists increases yet again while Minister tries to bury the figures - Louise O’Reilly TD
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has lambasted the Minister for Health over another increase in the number of people on waiting lists and also criticised him for cowardly behaviour by trying to bury the figures, releasing them late on a Friday evening, yet again.
Deputy O’Reilly said:
“Yet again the number of people on hospital waiting lists has increased for the month of August, and again the Minister for Health has tried to bury the bad news by releasing it late on a Friday evening.
“Obfuscation and distraction will not change the fact that the number of people on public hospital outpatient waiting lists increased by some 3,500 in August, with more than 497,000 people awaiting outpatient treatment at the end of the month.
“The facts are plain to see; the Minister for Health is failing in his duty, he is patently out of his depth and this is evidenced by the fact that the number of outpatients waiting for a hospital appointment has continuously grown since he was appointed Minister for Health in June 2016
“This is a weak Government that is failing on health and housing with a cabinet and a Taoiseach who are more concerned about style than substance.
“All that Fine Gael has achieved in the area of health is to allow the crisis to escalate to a point where it has almost become normalised.
“But we will not allow this to become normalised. That is why last week I launched Sinn Féin’s updated policy document on how to address the crisis in hospital waiting lists.
“Sinn Féin believes that in order to successfully tackle the waiting list crisis a new model to maximise the capacity of the public hospital system is necessary alongside the introduction of strategic management across all waiting lists.
“We believe an integrated IT system used in the Portuguese National Health Service, would help to achieve new maximum wait times by actively transferring those on the list from hospitals that are failing to meet the target to hospitals that have the ability to offer the service on time.
“Under this system, patients would see increased funding for hospitals which would be directly linked to reducing public waiting lists, providing a clear incentive to treat more patients.
“We believe that our policy is the best strategy to tackle the disgraceful waiting lists which have been created by this government across the State.”