Urgent action needed to tackle waiting list crisis – Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North Denise Mitchell has called for urgent action to tackle waiting lists at Beaumont Hospital as figures released for the month of August showed an increase of over 500 on outpatient waiting lists at the month’s end.
Deputy Mitchell said:
“The numbers are quite frankly shocking. In August we saw national outpatient waiting lists increase by some 3,500, with more than 497,000 people awaiting outpatient treatment at the end of the month. In Beaumont Hospital alone we now have 26,263 waiting for treatment. Of these, 2,867 have been waiting more than 18 months. This simply cannot be allowed to continue.
“It is becoming very clear that the Minister for Health is out of his depth. Outpatient waiting lists have continued to increase since his appointment in June 2016. What is particularly worrying is that increasing waiting lists seems to have become par for the course.
“Recently, Sinn Féin launched an updated policy for dealing with hospital waiting lists. Sinn Féin proposes a new model to maximise the capacity of the public hospital system alongside the introduction of strategic management across all waiting lists.
“We believe an integrated IT system 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.
“Clearly the Government’s strategy is not working, so I would urge them to look seriously at implementing this Sinn Féin policy as we believe it is the best way to tackle the waiting list crisis.”
Note: See Sinn Féin's 'Tacling Waiting Lists' policy here: http://www.sinnfein.ie/files/2017/Tackling_Hospital_Waiting_Lists1.pdf