Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Wexford, Cllr. Lisa McDonald will host a public meeting on the health service crisis and the scandal of waiting lists next Tuesday, 13th November at 8pm in the Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford Town.

The meeting will be addressed by leading experts on healthcare provision in the country such as the Health Editor of the Sunday Business Post, Susan Mitchell, Stephen McMahon of the Irish Patient Safety Organisation and Maitiú Ó Tuathail, President of the National Association of General Practitioners.

Cllr. McDonald added, “Waiting lists and times are getting worse by the month. At the end of September, there were 2,292 people waiting on an outpatient appointment at Wexford General Hospital.

“However, this is only half the story. Many Wexford people are referred by the GPs to hospitals in Dublin or Waterford where waiting lists for both inpatient and outpatient appointments and procedures are scandalous.

“We now have the situation where very sick people are taking out credit union or bank loans to make use of the Treatment Abroad Scheme in Northern Ireland. This shouldn’t be the metric by which we decide who can get treatment.

“The priority must be reducing the waiting times for people in the hospitals that are closest to patients. There should never be a situation where it is better or quicker for a Wexford person to travel to Belfast for a basic procedure that is available in Dublin or Waterford.

“My public meeting is about delving into the issues putting pressure on our health system, and identifying practical solutions to address the chronic and unfair waiting times for basic treatments.

“I would encourage those with an interest and those who have gone through the health system recently to come to the meeting and share their experiences. I want to hear from you,” concluded McDonald.