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‘Comhliosta’ Proposal to Deal with Hospital Waiting Lists Better for the West – Conway-Walsh

12 August, 2016 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin’s ‘Comhliosta’ Proposal to deal with hospital waiting lists is practical and workable and will benefit the West according to Mayo Senator Rose Conway-Walsh.  Consistent in all the figures published on hospital waiting lists University College Hospital Galway has by far the longest list.  In June 1,093 people were waiting for over 18 months for appointments in UCHG while the nearest was Beaumont Hospital with 448 patients waiting.  This shows us that while there are now a massive 530,000 waiting nationally the crisis is even more severe in the West.

Speaking after the presentation of the details of her party’s plan to deal with hospital waiting lists, Senator Conway-Walsh said:

“Sinn Féin is proposing a single, integrated hospital waiting list management system called ‘Comhliosta’.  Recognising that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour, and the PDs have all failed to deliver a health system to accommodate the basic health needs of a population of just 4.7 million people we have put forward a new model to address hospital waiting lists.

“Alongside the fully costed €3.3billion additional investment in health, Sinn Féin proposes the introduction of an integrated IT system used in the Portuguese NHS which 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.  The new maximum waiting times would be developed to cover the entire period from referral to the end of the patient experience where the treatment is received or a decision not to treat is made.

“Unlike the former National Treatment Purchase Fund, fees for ‘Comhliosta’ activity would be centrally determined and set at a rate below that paid for core activity, which must take account of all hospitals’ fixed costs.  In Portugal, the additional surgeries conducted via the transfer system cost, on average, 70% of the price paid for basic surgery provision.

“Under this model, Sinn Féin would seek the renegotiation of the Consultants Contract to achieve public-only contracts covering core activity on a full-time or part-time basis.  Further income could also be generated by consultants by undertaking additional activity transferred to them by ‘Comhliosta’ outside their contracted hours.

In conclusion, Senator Conway-Walsh said:

“Under this new system proposed by Sinn Féin, patients would be able to find out easily where they are on the waiting list and the pace at which the list is moving via an online facility.  There would be more effective sharing of information across healthcare providers, including between hospitals and GPs and the full capacity of the public hospital system would be strategically deployed to work through the public waiting list.  This is just one element of our Sinn Féin 4 Health policy document which can be accessed via our website” 

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