ED overcrowding, Escalating waiting lists, diminished services all need to be tackled
Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says the Health Minister must ensure that a viable plan to improve services at Mayo University Hospital is devised and implemented as a matter of urgency. Minister Simon Harris visited the hospital earlier today to see first-hand the conditions that staff and patients are dealing with.
Deputy Chambers explained, “This is the first visit Minister Harris has made to Mayo University Hospital since he was appointed as Minister for Health and I’m very glad that he’s had to opportunity to meet with staff and patients so that he can better understand the severe problems which exist within the hospital.
“Over the past few years, MUH has been starved of essential resources. This has resulted in a raft of service cuts, which in turn has led to a huge increase in waiting list figures. In fact, the latest data shows that there are almost 800 people (782 at end September) waiting more than 18 months for an outpatient appointment – a whopping 295% increase since the start of the year. These massive waiting lists have become a feature of the health service over the past number of years – and they are completely unacceptable.
“I very much welcome Minister Harris’s visit, however now that he has witnessed the problems this hospital is facing, it is incumbent on him to do something about it. There has been much talk about the increase in the health budget, now we need to ensure that these extra resources are invested properly.
“I’m calling on the Minister to work with his Department officials, the HSE and local management to devise a plan for Mayo University Hospital to reverse the damaging cuts which have been implemented over the past 5 years and to increase staff levels. Unless a concrete strategy is put in place we risk seeing the further deterioration of services in Mayo and across the Western region”.