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Minister must publish long-term Waiting Lists Plan as 897,000 people on hospital waiting lists cannot wait years for care - David Cullinane TD

10 December, 2021 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Minister for Health to urgently produce a long-term waiting list reduction plan as NTPF figures released this evening shows more than 897,000 people are on hospital waiting lists.

He said that the current slow pace indicates it would take nearly 10 years to reach Sláintecare targets and that list figures, still higher than in August, look to be higher than targets set in the short-term Waiting List Action Plan.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“There is an urgent need for the Minister for Health to publish a long-term Waiting List Reduction and Management plan as 897,000 people languish on hospital waiting lists.

“The slow pace on tackling waiting lists – which remain higher than August – indicates that the Minister is not meeting targets set in his short-term Action Plan.

“At this pace it will take nearly 10 years to reach Sláintecare targets.

“There are more than 655,000 people on outpatient lists as of the end of November and nearly 150,000 people on inpatient and GI scope lists.

“At this rate, it looks like the Minister will miss his own targets for the year-end with double the number of people on inpatient, day case, and GI scope lists than planned.

“It remains to be seen where lists will be at the end of next month, but the signs are not positive.

“The health service needs a major boost in capacity – in beds, staff, equipment, theatre capacity, and IT systems – to handle with the high volumes of care needs which are presenting.

“Hospitals are simply not being adequately supported to deliver the care that patients need, and the change that workers are looking for is not being delivered.”

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