2 October 2015
By David O’Sullivan
Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson and Cork TD Billy Kelleher has said he is extremely concerned to learn that Cork University Hospital recorded the second highest number of cancelled operations in the first six months of the year.
Figures released to Deputy Kelleher show 1,567 inpatient operations were cancelled and 161 Day Case procedures were cancelled between January and June this year.
“These figures are very worrying,” said Deputy Kelleher. “The number of cancellations in CUH is second only to St. James’ Hospital in Dublin and points to serious capacity issues at the hospital.”
“Every time an operation is scheduled for a patient they have to plan getting into hospital, make arrangements with relatives perhaps to care for others and plan for post-operative circumstances. It’s a big ordeal for many people going into hospital so it naturally causes huge frustration and anxiety when operations and procedures are cancelled.
“The hospital system is clearly creaking under the pressure, we know that another massive budget overrun to the tune of €500m is expected for this year and there are major problems in the health service being stored up for the winter months. Continuing a clear pattern under this government the Minister for Health has failed to produce a credible health budget that can be managed through the year. Every year for the last five years we have a seen an unrealistic health budget produced that runs into trouble half-way through the year, services are curtailed and operations are cancelled to save money. This pattern cannot continue.
“The scale of cancelled operations in CUH also points out the pressure staff and management at the hospital are under. They are working in extremely difficult conditions but unfortunately there is no sign that this is likely to change anytime soon. As waiting lists continue to grow and operations keep getting cancelled the circumstances for staff and patients alike are increasingly difficult. The Government needs to set out how it can clearly and credibly bring waiting lists down, ensure scheduled operations go ahead to the great possible extent and how disruption for patients can be minimised.”