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Two-tier system still killing patients – Ó Caoláin

11 August, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that the two-tier hospital system is still killing patients, three years after the death of Susie Long, with more than 1,000 people waiting for more than three months for a colonoscopy.

He said:

“The attempts by the HSE to defend these figures are not credible. When Susie Long died in 2007 we were promised a dramatic reduction in waiting times for colonoscopy, the test for bowel cancer to which she and so many others were denied timely access. The figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show that little has changed and public patients are still facing totally unacceptable and potentially fatal delays in diagnosis.

“There is no excuse for such a waiting list – but there is an explanation. The facilities and staff are there in the private health sector to carry out such tests in a timely manner for private patients. These facilities should be opened directly to public patients who should not have to go through the National Treatment Purchase Fund to get access to these vital tests. The grossly inequitable two-tier hospital system must be dismantled because it is quite literally killing patients.” ENDS

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