Waiting list targets to be achieved by the end of June have again been missed says Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher.
Deputy Kelleher commented: “The Minister said in January that by the end of June, no-one would wait more than 18 months for either an in-patient and outpatient appointment. Yet again, this target has not been met in November.
“Close to ten thousand people are waiting more than 18 months for an outpatient appointment while fifteen hundred wait more than a year and a half for an impatient or day case procedure. This is appalling.
“Remember too that these are diminished targets. Up to the end of last year there was a 12 month target for outpatients and an 8 month target for inpatient and day cases.
“The fact is that 48,508 outpatients have been on the list for more than a year and 14,836 inpatient and day cases are waiting more than nine months.
“The Minister says these November figures ‘continue to show improvements across all categories’. It is typical of the Minister’s spin that a continual failure to meet his own diminished targets can be portrayed as continued improvement.
“Sadly this is the way under Minster Varadkar. He spins while patients wait.”
The Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson also reiterated his warning that there will be a sustained effort to throw money at the problem up to the end of January so as to sustain some sort of downward trend in advance of the general election and that this should be treated with scepticism.
Deputy Kelleher said: “We should remember the trend in 2014 in advance of the local elections. The then Minister for Health then got up in the Dáil to tell us that his targets were 99% met. Then the waiting lists soared in the twelve months after the local elections. This government is not to be trusted on health.”