6 July 2019
By Elaine Murphy
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Michael Moynihan says figures released by the Minister for Health reveal the true extent of the waiting list crisis for cataract surgery across Cork and Kerry.
At the end of May, there were 523 people waiting for cataract surgery in the two counties.
Deputy Moynihan commented, “These figures paint a picture of just how difficult the situation is for patients in Cork and Kerry who find themselves waiting for months, and even years for what is widely considered routine surgery.
“These long waiting times could potentially have an impact on patient outcomes, and could even result in what may have been a straightforward condition, developing into something more complex.
“People are now facing the choice of paying to go privately or to apply for the Cross Border Directive to see if they can travel to Northern Ireland or another EU country to have the operation.
“This government promised to tackle waiting lists but it is failing abysmally. Fianna Fáil secured the re-establishment of the National Treatment Purchase Fund, which has made some inroads into the problem, but it is not the complete solution.
“The Health Minister needs to oversee the rollout of a comprehensive cataract scheme – one was established in Sligo and is overwhelmingly successful. Sending people to Northern Ireland or further afield or forcing them into private healthcare should not be the only options for patients”, concluded Deputy Moynihan.