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Government must take action to address health waiting lists – Kenny

3 October, 2014 - by Martin Kenny TD

Speaking today from the campaign trail in Roscommon-South Leitrim, Sinn Féin by-election Candidate Martin Kenny said that the Government must take urgent action to address the health needs of constituents.

Cllr Kenny said:

“The National Treatment Purchase Fund data available for this year shows that the waiting lists for Roscommon hospital inpatients and day cases have increased by over 100 per cent - from 201 in July 2013, to 462 in July 2014. In Sligo Regional Hospital and Cavan General Hospital there are 428 people waiting over 6 months for inpatient and day cases.

“The outpatient figures show that the combined total of those on outpatient waiting lists for Roscommon, Cavan and Sligo hospitals waiting for a period of over 12 months is 2,056 patients.  This is despite the fact that the Government set a target that all hospitals would have a maximum waiting list of 12 months for outpatient services by the middle of this year.

“While I appreciate the Trojan effort put in by staff and indeed management of the hospitals to prioritise cases and reduce waiting times, it is clear that there is not enough support and resources allocated by the Government to allow them to do this.

“The impact of this is felt keenly by many families in this constituency, as young and old are forced to manage day to day, often in crippling pain, without the treatment that they need. For example, this week I met a woman who told me that she had received word that it would be 15 months before she would even be seen by a consultant in Cappagh Hospital order to have surgery in her knee. When I see that the figures in that hospital have jumped from 1500 in July 2013 to 2844 in July 2014, with over 1,000 waiting for over 6 months it is little wonder.

“Furthermore, a report issued this year by the charity Inclusion Ireland has found that almost 3,000 children have been waiting more than 12 months for speech and language therapy with even a further 1940 children waiting for assessment for over one year. Again it is little wonder when the report further goes onto conclude that Ireland is breaching the internationally recommended maximum case load per therapist by a shocking 249%.

“It is clear that the Government needs to wake up and recognise the fact that our hospital and medical staff are not being given adequate staffing or budgetary allocations in order to effectively address the health needs of the population and I am calling on the Government to step in as a matter of urgency to take appropriate measures to alleviate the situation.”

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