Government have no ideas as almost 1 in 4 people wait on medical procedures - Louise O'Reilly TD
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said that the release of figures which show that close to a million people are waiting on a medical procedure or treatment show that "the government is completely out of ideas when it comes to addressing the waiting list crisis".
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The news that there are close to a quarter of the people in the State are waiting for a procedure is shocking but not surprising.
“There isn't a family in Ireland currently unaffected by the crisis of hospital waiting lists. These people are not numbers - they are living, breathing, feeling people who are on a waiting list because they need medical attention.
"However, the government is washing its hands of its responsibility to these people and that can never be normalised or accepted.
“Regardless of what the Minister for Health says, there are solutions available and we in Sinn Féin have been proposing them for a long time.
“For many years now Sinn Féin have called for the introduction of an integrated hospital management waiting list system, such as the one used in the Portuguese health service which has delivered significant and sustained reductions in waiting times for surgery since it was first introduced in 2004.
“Indeed, a similar system is working here on a smaller scale in the RCSI Hospital Group. The RCSI Hospital Group was the only hospital group in the State who managed to reduce their outpatient waiting lists from May 2017 to May 2018 - reducing the waiting list by 2,613.
“In the community we need to see investment and the rollout of primary care, an increase in GP numbers, and the formulation of a dedicated chronic disease management plan to keep people out of hospitals and off waiting lists by keeping them healthy and helping them manage their illness.
“In acute hospitals we need to see an increase in capacity through more beds, the recruitment and retention crisis amongst nurses and doctors, and others, also has to be addressed, and the adequate funding of public hospitals to carry out surgeries must be a priority.
“The Minister can’t say he hasn’t heard these solutions before - on the 20th June of this year the Dáil unanimously supported a Sinn Féin PMB which proposed these measures.
“Minister Harris needs to look at the evidence under his nose and implement these proven solutions."