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Significant concerns remain around waiting lists at University Hospital Waterford

8 May, 2015

Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane said that significant concerns remain around waiting lists at University Hospital Waterford following a meeting with hospital management today. A Sinn Féin team including Cullinane, MEP Liadh Ní Riada, Councillor Breda Brennan and Councillor John Hearne met with senior hospital management to discuss waiting lists. The meeting followed the publication by David Cullinane of out-patient waiting list figures last month.

Speaking following the meeting Senator Cullinane said:

“A number of weeks ago I published shocking details of outpatient waiting lists and UHW. There are 8,478 patients waiting longer than a year for procedures. The Government response was that ultimately this was an issue of hospital management, despite their promise that no one would wait more than twelve months to be seen.

“We had a robust and frank exchange with hospital management in an effort to get to the bottom of the figures, which are quite frightening. Although some progress will be made with the appointment of consultants in the short to medium term, significant concerns remain.

“UHW is under-resourced and cannot keep up with demand. The waiting lists for some specialities may improve temporarily, and I look forward to seeing the backlog in dermatology and orthopaedics resolved sooner rather than later. That said Minister Leo Varadkar needs to come out and address this issue if we are to see any solution in the long-term. He promised that no patient will wait longer than 12 months, yet we

Liadh Ní Riada MEP said:

“The waiting lists in UHW are a damning indictment of the Fine Gael and Labour Government and indeed of previous Governments. We must remember that behind these figures are real people, who are ill and waiting to be seen by a doctor. There are over 24,000 patients on out-patient waiting lists in UHW. My heart goes out to those whose health is deteriorating as they await a consultation, or those who are worried, uncertain or anxious while waiting to get to the bottom of their illness.

 “Fianna Fáil created a whipping boy when they founded the HSE. It is not good enough for subsequent ministers to shift the blame for the crises in our health system. Better management can bring greater efficiency, but at the end of the day we need a fully resourced and accessible health system.

“Increased demand on our health service due to an ageing population can only go so far in explaining the long delays faced by patients. Increased demand must be met with an increased investment in healthcare. Community responses need to be embraced, and efficiency needs to begin at the top. “

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