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Over 6,000 older ­people waiting for cataract surgery - Louise O'Reilly TD

19 July, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this afternoon upon revealing HSE figures for cataract surgery across the State, Sinn Fein Health spokesperson, Louise O'Reilly TD said the waiting lists, and most notably the waiting times, for cataract surgery for older people are unbelievably high. 

Teahcta O’Reilly said: 

“Figures released to me by the HSE have detailed the extent of the staggering waiting times and waiting lists for cataract surgery across the State. 

“Across the State there are over 6,151 people on waiting lists for cataract surgery, and most worryingly of all is that 256 of these people have been waiting over a year for treatment. 

“There are also five children awaiting this sight-saving surgery in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, with one them waiting over a year. 

“Cataract procedures usually take around 10 minutes to perform, yet there are over 6,000 patients waiting on an operation across the state, with hundreds of these waiting over a year for treatment. 

“Patients suffer when they have to wait for cataract surgery, they lose sight, they lose independence, they can have accidents from falls, and all this costs patients’ and the health service more. 

“The current system is not working – it needs to be overhauled. 

“Thankfully, there is a clear solution - the award-winning Sligo Cataract Scheme. The Association of Optometrists Ireland have outlined how the Sligo-Leitrim constituency has the shortest waiting time in the State thanks to this cost-neutral scheme. 

“This scheme needs to be rolled out nationwide and it needs to be rolled out nationwide, so Optometrists and Hospital Eye Departments can work together to reduce these waiting lists.” 


Please see a detailed spreadsheet of the waiting lists here

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