Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Mayo Cllr. Lisa Chambers has described as scandalous new figures which reveal that the number of children waiting for an orthodontic appointment is higher in the West of Ireland than in any other part of the country. Data released to Fianna Fáil shows that there are 5,133 children waiting for orthodontic treatment; 2,443 are waiting more than one year.
Cllr. Chambers commented, “Here we have another example of a health system which is buckling under the pressure. This Government’s failure to allocate a realistic budget has seen the situation spiral out of all control. Emergency Department overcrowding has hit an all-time high, waiting lists have escalated dramatically and now we see children’s services drastically deteriorating.
“Minister Leo Varadkar has failed to manage the situation, and the problems are being exacerbated by plummeting morale levels among front line workers. Consultant posts remain unfilled and there are gaping holes in nurse provision. The front line staff that are in place are seriously overworked and are being forced to cope in intolerable working conditions. This had resulted in major backlogs in the system, which is now having a serious impact on children’s services.
“It is no coincidence that services in the West are suffering more than others. This Government has almost completely forgotten about people west of the Shannon. Not only are the services at our hospitals suffering and waiting lists increasing, there are also major problems with the ambulance service here.
“There is a Budget just around the corner and it is imperative that Minister Leo Varadkar fight for realistic funding for the health service. The last four Budgets have been characterised by massive funding shortages across the health sector, with supplementary budgets needed to try and avert a series of crises. Instead of lurching from one crisis to the next, a credible budget must be secured to deal with the litany of problems that hospitals and community service providers are dealing with”.