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Louth waiting lists are of deep concern – Adams

10 February, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams, speaking in the Dáil during the special debate on Health highlighted the perpetual crisis within the health service. He also spoke of his worries about the impact of the nurses strike on health care, saying “the nursing staff so a remarkable job under the most difficult conditions. They deserve our support and solidarity”.

Following receipt of Parliamentary responses on waiting times at Our Lady of Lourdes, Teachta Adams also expressed his deep “concern at the scale of the waiting list there, as well as within the health service generally”.

 He said:

“We now know that over 632,000 citizens are on a range of waiting lists. That is one citizen in 8 of the population. This is deplorable.

“In recent days, I have received a parliamentary question response on outpatient and inpatient waiting times for Our Lady of Lourdes on Drogheda. The statistics are stark and of concern.

“There are:

·         12014 patients on the outpatient waiting list. Of these 10,264 do not yet have a date for an appointment

·         4881 patients have been waiting for more than six months for an appointment

·         408 have been waiting for an appointment for more than 15 months

·         19 patients have been waiting for an appointment for general surgery for more than 15 months.

·         18 patients have been waiting for an appointment for gynaecology for more than 15 months

·         1310 patients on the inpatient waiting list

·         695 are adults waiting for speciality appointments, e.g., general medicine, general surgery and cardiology.

·         287 have been waiting for more than six months, including 21 women waiting for more than six months for a gynaecology appointment.

·         272 children are waiting inpatient appointments of those 212 have been waiting more than six months

“This PQ response and the RTE documentary on waiting lists reveal another example of a health service in a state of perpetual crisis. It’s about the 2064 patients on trolleys in the first four days of this week. It is about the cancelled surgeries, thousands of hospital beds removed from the system, the loss of nursing staff, and a two-tier system in which health workers are not properly treated, and where patients suffer. 

“The plight of patients, especially children who have scoliosis, and the bravery and anguish of their families, captured so graphically on the RTE programme, has further eroded confidence in the government, our general politics and our health services.

“The staff in all of our hospitals do a remarkable job in difficult conditions. Regrettably, there is a complete lack of accountability. The Minister is not accountable. The Taoiseach is not accountable; not while he has the support of Fianna Fáil.” 

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