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Worrying number of cancellations of cardio-thoracic surgeries – O’Reilly

27 September, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O‘Reilly TD has voiced her concern that almost 900 heart and chest surgeries have been cancelled in public hospitals across the state since the start of last year. 

Deputy O’Reilly said: 

“I find it extremely worrying that that there were nearly 900 cancelled cardio-thoracic surgeries in the 20 months since January 2016. I understand that a number of surgeries are often cancelled for medical reasons. However, a significant number of these cancelled surgeries were cancelled for non-medical reasons. 

“Figures released to me through a Parliamentary Question response have highlighted that on numerous occasions surgeries were cancelled because of a clerical error, no available beds, or because there was no theatre time.   

 “Furthermore, I found it particularly upsetting and concerning that of the almost 900 cancelled surgeries, 262 of them were cancelled surgeries for children at with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

“These surgeries are life-saving and life-changing and that there is an average of approximately 43 cancelled surgeries per month needs to be investigated.

“The fact of the matter is that many of these cancellations are linked to the broader problems regarding a lack of capacity in the acute hospital sector because of years of underinvestment, the inability of the HSE to recruit and retain staff across all levels, and the serious public health issue of hospital waiting lists numbering almost 700,000.

“These cancellations are not just confined to cardio-thoracic surgeries, and until the core issues are addressed by the HSE and the Government then surgeries will continue to be cancelled and patients and their families will continue to suffer.” 

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