25,000 Meath people on hospital waiting lists – Tóibín
Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Peadar Tóibín TD has sharply criticised Fine Gael policy for creating a health crisis which is affecting the most vulnerable people in our state.
Addressing Minister for Health Simon Harris in the Dáil last night, Deputy Tóibín said:
“There are 660,000 people on HSE waiting lists and roughly 25,000 people in Meath are on a waiting list. In Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan in the outpatient waiting list as of February 2017, there were 5276 patients waiting on lists. This is massive figure, but is not the whole figure for Meath, Meath people are waiting on many lists all over the state.
“The number of patients waiting longer than 12 months is 582 and the number waiting longer than 15 months is 321. This is despite a Programme for Government commitment in 2011 that no patients will have to wait longer than twelve months for a hospital appointment. We must also consider that last year over 9,000 people were on A&E trolleys in Louth and Meath.
“This has not happened by accident. Take Navan Hospital; it was Fine Gael policy for the last few years that the Endoscopy Theatre was closed every Friday. It has been Fine Gael policy that the General Surgery Theatre was closed every Monday. It is official Fine Gael policy that there are significant caps on Orthopaedic Operations in our hospital and some doctors at Navan could only carry out operations for five days over the five winter months.
“All of this, Minister, is a false economy. On an individual basis, if you delay diagnosis and treatment to an individual, that person’s health is going to deteriorate. He or she will need more crisis interventions. These crisis interventions cost much money and they clog the acute services. Replicate this over the whole population and you have a Fine Gael health service crisis.
“These are vulnerable people. They are the people who are most ill in Irish society and these people that are the collateral damage of Fine Gael economic policy.”