Figures released to Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD, reveal  that more than 37,000 operations or hospital procedures were cancelled during 2016.  This is an increase of almost 13,000 cancellations in a 12 month period.

“During the year, the waiting list for inpatient/day case procedures reached and an all-time high of 81,000 by year end, up from 44,000 at the end of 2013. So the news that so many operations were cancelled during the year is of great concern.  What is also worrying is the impact the ongoing trolley crisis will have on planned procedures over the coming weeks, as elective surgeries are usually cancelled when our Emergency Departments come under extreme pressure, as has been the case over the last two weeks.

“Between 2015 and 2016 the number of cancellations rose dramatically from 24,571 to 37,491.  This is a damning indictment of the Government’s failure to get to grips with the problems in the health service.

“The worst impacted hospital was UHG in Galway, with more than 5,000 procedures cancelled. Mayo University Hospital saw 2,249 operations cancelled while Sligo University Hospital recorded 1,654 cancellations.

“Limerick, South Tipperary, Waterford and the Midland Regional, Tullamore all saw more than 1,000 operations cancelled.  It is simply not acceptable that tens of thousands of medical procedures are being cancelled every year.  This only serves to push the problem further down the road and has the potential to lead to complications for patients who have had their procedures delayed.

“The 2017 HSE Service plan provides just €9 million in new funds for our acute hospitals. As 2017 begins with record trolley figures, the signals for our hospitals for the year ahead do not bode well and I have serious concerns about their ability to provide the care and services that are needed”.