11 August 2017
By Tom Collins
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Billy Kelleher (Cork North Central) has said that there is clearly something wrong when just one hospital in Dublin has more people waiting for treatment over 12 months as are waiting in the entire country of England with a population 14 times that of our state.
“Yesterday, NHS England announced that there were 1511 people waiting longer than 12 months for treatment in all its hospitals.
“The Mater Hospital in the heart of Dublin City had 1,625 waiting as of the end of July 2017.
“The total number waiting longer than 12 months for an in-patient or day case procedure has now risen to 17,977, up an eye watering 1050% from 1,562 in 2014.
“There is a serious issue in our health system, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
“How is it possible that we have the number of long waiters in our hospitals is 12 times the size of our nearest neighbour yet we have just 8.7% of the population?
“These people have more than likely waiting quite a long period of time to be seen by a consultant, and are now being asked to wait more than 12 months for a procedure that has been clinically recommended.
“Minister Harris needs to outline his plans to increase capacity in the health system to deal with these waiting lists.
“Under successive Fine Gael Ministers for Health, and especially since Taoiseach Varadkar was in situ of Hawkins House in 2014, waiting lists have gotten progressively worse and worse.
“Under their watch, more and more sick people in need of treatment have been forced to wait. It’s not acceptable in a modern, European country,” concluded Kelleher.