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Nearly 93 surgeries cancelled a day in January- Louise O’Reilly TD

2 February, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

A response to questions raised by Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has shown that in January 2017, nearly 93 elective surgeries a day were cancelled across 38 hospitals nationally.

Deputy O’Reilly said:

“In January 2017, nearly 93 elective surgeries a day were cancelled across 38 hospitals nationally. That is 2,876 surgeries, bringing the number of cancelled surgeries from January 2016 to January 2017 to 43,800.

“Currently we have 95% to 100% occupancy in our acute hospitals week in, week out. They cannot deal with any extreme demand. The only way then for hospitals to deal with this is by cancelling elective procedures. That is what's done.

“These are real patients who need to be seen. They are languishing in often tremendous pain - they simply wouldn't be on these waiting lists if they did not require treatment.

“The sad reality of these figures is that this is endemic of perpetual hospital crisis. We are lurching from crisis to crisis weekly- from overcrowded A&Es to cancelled surgeries. It is all inextricably linked. Patients health is being severely undermined by historic underinvestment in our Public Health Service, which has crippled the ability to ensure people are seen and treated in a timely fashion.

“Every year the HSE admit that hospitals cannot do elective work, and so the solution manufactured is to give money, through the NTPF, to private hospitals to do the operations the public system does not have the capacity to do, but we never tackle the capacity issue.

“We have a HSE service plan that lacks ambition coupled with an appalling lack of capacity in our health service currently, brought about by years of cutbacks and under-investment. Our Government is content to rely on the private sector while ignoring the real need for investment in our Public Health Service. This is not acceptable.

“Sinn Féin proposed significant investment in making available hospital beds, staffing and ancillary services in our pre budget submission. We have already proposed to Minister Harris a single integrated waiting list system- yet the digital waiting list solutions presented to him are sitting on a shelf.”

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