Fianna Fáil Cllr for Longford and General Election candidate Joe Flaherty is set to hold a public information meeting to highlight the options available to patients waiting for treatment for a number of common conditions such as cataracts, varicose veins and hernias.

Patients waiting under the National Treatment Purchase Scheme are entitled to seek treatment in Northern Ireland and abroad when the treatment they need is not available within the time normally necessary to obtain it.

The public meeting will be held in the Longford Arms Hotel on Thursday 26th April at 8pm and will hear from experts who will set out the steps that patients can take to seek treatment abroad under the scheme.

Cllr Flaherty said, “Patients on public hospital waiting lists can seek treatment in Northern Ireland or abroad under the National Treatment Purchase Scheme. There are currently over 80,000 people across Ireland waiting for treatment for common procedures to treat conditions such as cataracts, varicose veins and hernias. These people can seek the treatment they need abroad and the purpose of this public meeting is to assist them in doing so.

“The National Treatment Purchase Scheme has been hugely successful down through the years in driving down the number of people stuck on waiting lists looking for relatively straight forward procedures. Unfortunately the waiting lists have been growing in recent years as Fine Gael and their Independent Alliance colleagues have consistently underfunded the scheme. This is deeply troubling and Fianna Fáil has been pushing for increased funding for the scheme. This is something which we will continue to prioritise.

“There is no excuse in this day and age for people to have to suffer from conditions such as cataracts and varicose veins. These are conditions which are easy and inexpensive to treat. Securing treatment to deal with these conditions is life changing and the Government has an obligation to ensure people get the treatment they deserve.

“I encourage anyone looking for information on the National Treatment Purchase Scheme, be it for themselves or a family friend or relative, to attend the public meeting I am hosting on Thursday 26th April in the Longford Arms Hotel,” concluded Cllr Flaherty.