Mayo patients losing faith in waiting list system – Minister must come clean on numbers waiting for appointments
Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says patients in Mayo are angry and frustrated following revelations about hidden waiting lists within the health service. Following a Prime Time Investigates programme it emerged that thousands of patients waiting for procedures were not included in official lists published by the HSE.
Deputy Chambers commented, “There is nobody who cannot have been affected by the cases that were highlighted in the Prime Time programme last night. Children in tears, women in chronic pain and men on the verge of suicide. This did not make for easy viewing, yet there are hundreds more people going through a similar scenario as they languish on a hospital waiting list. This is simply not acceptable.
“What is even more disturbing is the fact that the number of people on these lists is so much higher than we were led to believe. The programme exposed the fact that there are thousands of additional patients waiting for operations who are not included in the published lists, yet the Health Minister has been unable to explain why this is. The published lists already document a crisis situation, but these hidden lists identify a much more serious problem.
“The latest figures show that there were 1,209 people on waiting lists at Mayo University Hospital in December, which in itself is an appallingly high number, but the reality is there are probably many more people waiting for appointments and procedures. The situation is now completely out of control. Patients are already frustrated, and these revelations have only served to increase their anger and undermine their confidence in the system.
“Minister Harris must publish the real figures without delay, but more importantly than that he must come up with tangible solutions to fix the problem. Fianna Fáil pushed for the reinstatement of the National Treatment Purchase Fund, and I welcome the Government’s renewed commitment to the scheme, however he must also come up with measures to effectively address this crisis”.