HSE figures show further health cuts must be stopped – Ó Caoláin
Commenting on the latest waiting list figures published by the HSE, Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said they show that further cuts to health services must be stopped or else patient care faces an even deeper crisis.
“The most damning figure in the latest HSE statistics is the total of 158,000 patients waiting since January 2011 for an appointment to be seen by a consultant at an outpatient department.
“While there are some improvements in other figures such as waits for inpatient day care, these improvements are under threat because of the ongoing cutbacks, with the HSE now significantly over budget for 2012.
“The Department of Health in its recently published strategy signals the government’s intention to take over €2 billion more out of the health budget up to 2014. This will have hugely damaging consequences for our already struggling public health services.
“In practice these cuts mean less care for patients such as the disgraceful proposed cuts at Cavan General Hospital revealed this week. Management at Cavan General Hospital is planning a dramatic cut in elective theatre activity in the hospital for the rest of 2012, with serious implications for patient care and for the future of surgery at the hospital. It is planned that every second week only emergency surgery will be carried out in the hospital. Management claim that they have to save €500,000 due to budget cuts and that is the purpose of this plan.
“The austerity agenda is not working and it is damaging our health services. A new direction is needed.” ENDS