Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Billy Kelleher has warned the Government that the ever increasing hospital waiting lists must result in real action and not meaningless pronouncements.
Deputy Kelleher was responding to the latest NTPF figures that show that the total number of people waiting in the health service has increased by 19,000 to nearly 678,000.
“It’s simply baffling that despite all the supposed attention the Minister for Health is putting on improving services, things are getting worse, not better.
“His laughable attempts at claiming success in the form of a mere 900 person reduction in inpatient waiting lists won’t make the families across Ireland waiting for an appointment any more confident about their chances of being seen any time soon.
“Having nearly 700,000 people on waiting lists is a shocking indictment of this government’s poor record of delivery in health since 2011.
“How is that the numbers waiting for treatment across all services is growing?
“Fianna Fáil is clear that in the short to medium term, until extra capacity is delivered in the public health system, the National Treatment Purchase Fund should be ramped up and should be expanded.
“With over one in six Irish people waiting on some form of a list, we are quickly moving to a situation where access to health care on a timely, and necessity led, basis cannot be guaranteed for our people.
“Minister Harris cannot let these waiting lists grow any further. He must immediately come forward with his plans for dealing with them.
“I am quite concerned at the attempt to hide these figures by releasing these figures late on a Friday afternoon.
“The Government cannot hide from its failings on delivering a health service that works for all our country’s people. Enough is enough,” concluded Kelleher.