Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher TD has said that the shocking jump in waiting lists for patients needing hospital care demonstrates that the health service is in a crisis.
Deputy Kelleher was reacting to the latest revelation in today’s Sunday Business Post that waiting lists for patients waiting more than six months for surgery have trebled since January 2014.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “The shocking revelation that the waiting list for patients waiting longer than six months for care is extremely alarming. Unfortunately it it does not come as a surprise to me. Last December I raised the serious concerns that Fianna Fáil had about the funding allocated to the health service under the 2015 HSE Service Plan. I pointed out that the service plan would do nothing to eliminate lengthy waiting lists or reduce the pressure on frontline staff across the health service. Unfortunately it seems that my concerns are now being realized.
“When the government took office in 2011 fewer than 10,000 patients were waiting longer than six months for elective care. This figure has now jumped to over 24,300 and is continuing to rise at an alarming pace. The rapid increase in those on waiting lists points to a growing crisis within the health service that Minister Varadkar is simply failing to come to terms with.
“This latest revelation shows that, despite his rhetoric, Minister Varadkar is continuing on from where Minister Reilly left off with his mismanagement of the health service. It demonstrates that the claims Minister Varadkar made last year where he argued that the health service is adequately funded for 2015 were fantasy. The soaring waiting lists this year are a direct consequence of the inadequate service plan approved by the government last December.
“I call on Minister Varadkar to get a grip. He must acknowledge the crisis that’s unfolding and demonstrate that he has a plan to address it.”