Dublin West candidate Cllr Jack Chambers has expressed alarm at a shocking surge in hospital waiting lists across Dublin hospitals.
The waiting lists for outpatient procedures have spiralled out of control, with the numbers waiting for outpatient procedures for more than a year increasing eight fold in Connolly Hospital, the Mater and St James since last year, according to new figures from the HSE.
Of the acute hospitals Beaumont has seen the most alarming increase, with 2,758 patients now waiting for more than a year for their procedure. That’s up by 2,664 patients since this time last year and up by 232 between January and February of this year alone.
The Eye and Ear Hospital is under severe pressure with 3,199 patients who are now waiting for over a year for their procedure. That’s an increase of 2,945 since February last year when there were 254 patients waiting for over a year.
Many of the acute Dublin hospitals have also seen a doubling of inpatient waiting times.
Cllr Jack Chambers has said it shows the health system is out of control.
“These figures are nothing short of alarming. The dramatic increase in patient waiting lists in the space of a year is a major cause of concern and it begs the question – where will these waiting lists be this time next year?,” asked Cllr Chambers.
“We cannot stand over a situation where thousands of patients in Dublin are waiting for more than a year to get the treatment they need and this number is increasing significantly every single month. It’s clear the hospitals are in crisis and they are simply not in a position to cope with patient demand as their resources are cut.
“It’s time for a radical rethink of how the health system is managed. This Government has presided over a cull of community hospital beds, the closure of hospital wards, a slash and burn of health resources, gross mismanagement of the health budget and the downgrading of hospital services in different parts of the country. All of this has pushed more and more patients onto the already overburdened acute hospitals in Dublin and has created a completely out of control overcrowding crisis.
“Minister Varadkar’s approach is not working. We need to look at a longer-term system of community based primary care to take patients out the acute hospital system and to catch patients before they become sick enough to need hospital treatment. I am genuinely fearful that lives are now being put at risk as sick people get sicker while waiting months and months for the treatment they need.”