Local health strategy is a “disaster”

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith has said the Government’s health strategy has been “a disaster for the area as evidenced by the latest figures on in-patients and out-patient waiting lists.”

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith has said the Government’s health strategy has been “a disaster for the area as evidenced by the latest figures on in-patients and out-patient waiting lists.”

The latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) show that almost 400 people joined the out-patient waiting list at Cavan General Hospital since January, increasing the waiting list by 36.3%. Over 18% of all patients are waiting more than 12 months for an appointment.

The latest figures for Sligo General Hospital are even worse, in May there was a substantial 33% increase in the number of patients waiting more than 12 months for an out-patient appointment at Sligo General Hospital since the start of the year.

Deputy Smith said, “The number of people waiting more than a year for an out-patient appointment has risen by 36% since the start of 2015, and is extremely worrying. But the spike in out-patient waiting times since May last year has jumped by almost 400%.

“Over the past year the number of people waiting more than 12 months for an outpatient appointment has increased by 1,116.

“This Government’s decision to strip the NTPF of its main role in driving down hospital waiting lists has proved to be a disaster for Cavan.”

Fianna Fáil candidate for Sligo-Leitrim Cllr. Eamon Scanlon has said he is extremely alarmed by the scale of hospital waiting lists at Sligo General Hospital.

“The scale of these waiting lists figures are shocking and raise genuine questions about the risks being posed to patients and calls into question this Government’s whole approach to health policy,” said Cllr. Scanlon.

“Over 3,200 patients are waiting more than a year just to see a Consultant at Sligo General Hospital – a spike of 265% over the course of a year.

“This is outrageous. Huge progress was made in driving down waiting times and easing the stress on patients and their families and all that work has been completely eroded by this Government.

“People across the North West are hugely reliant on the services at Sligo General but the hospital is not being properly resourced and waiting times are soaring.”