HSE must focus on reducing excessive waiting times - Louise O'Reilly TD
Speaking this evening after the National Treatment Purchase Fund released the hospital waiting list data for July, Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly said the HSE and the Department of Health must focus on reducing the number of people waiting excessive waiting times as 764,600 people wait for treatment.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“It is very disappointing but an inevitable consequence of government policy that the number of patients waiting for a hospital outpatient appointment increase again.
"This is the same story almost every month and is a clear indication that we do not have enough staff or capacity in our hospitals to dramatically reduce these waiting lists.
“A particular cause for concern are patients who are waiting excessive times for an appointment, such as the 174,002 patients waiting over a year for an outpatient appointment or the 10,542 patients waiting for inpatient care.
“These people are at particular risk and we need to see a renewed focus from the HSE and the Minister for Health to dramatically reduce these lists.
“We won’t achieve any significant reduction in the overall list size or those waiting excessive times unless the Minister for Health ensures three things are done; firstly, we need to see investment in recruiting more staff, secondly we need to increase the capacity of the health service, and thirdly, we need a modern way of dealing with waiting lists through the introduction of an integrated waiting list system to maximise the resources we have in the health service and allow patients to transfer from hospitals with long lists, to those with shorter waiting times.
“The solutions are there, but there can be no progress until we have a government and a Minister for Health who want to take full responsibility for the health service and make it work for the people.”