Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Mayo Cllr. Lisa Chambers says more people are waiting longer for hospital appointments, and is warning that the situation will deteriorate further over the coming months. The latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund reveal a 75% increase in the number of people waiting more than 18 months for an outpatient appointment at Mayo General between August and September this year.
Cllr. Chambers commented, “These figures make for truly shocking reading. There are now 427 patients waiting more than a year and a half for an outpatient appointment at Mayo General Hospital – that’s a jump of 75% in a month. People in Mayo are genuinely worried about the state of the health service in the county. We have seen a rapid deterioration in services over the past year. Trolley figures have reached record levels, frontline staff are under massive pressure to deal with the numbers of patients in the Emergency Department and in the wards, and now waiting lists are escalating dramatically.
“What’s even more worrying is the fact that many services, previously available at Mayo General Hospital, have been diverted to University Hospital Galway, which now has the worst waiting lists in the country. The problems that patients are now being forced to deal with are as a direct result of this Government’s refusal to allocate a realistic budget for the health service. Instead of trying to tackle the issues that are suffocating our health service, Minister Leo Varadkar chose to move the goalposts on waiting lists and revise up the waiting list targets to 18 months. However, even the new targets are not being met.
“I have grave concerns about the months ahead. The Minister is burying his head in the sand and storing up major problems for the winter. The situation in our hospitals traditionally become more strained in the winter months and the fact that Mayo General, and now UHG is already operating under extremely difficult conditions. The budget allocated to Health in yesterday’s Budget is on a par with last year – a Budget which had to be supplemented to the tune of €600m last Friday. This Government and this Minister have demonstrated time and time again that they are not serious about Health. Patients in Mayo and across the country are suffering while those in charge sit back. It is simply not good enough”.