Fianna Fáil TD for Cork-North-West Aindrias Moynihan has urged the HSE to examine the policy used to update and maintain their waiting lists as hundreds have been removed from lists in Cork.

Deputy Moynihan explained, “Between December 2017 and October 2018, 379 people have been taken off the orthopaedic waiting lists in Cork, due to lack of response to a letter or a phone call. Yet 59 of them have been put back on. That is more than 1 in every 7 people.

“In the case of ophthalmic waiting lists, from what is available, is even worse. In October 2018, 998 people were taken off the list, 221 have been readmitted. This is more than 1 in 5.

“People have been on these lists for a considerable period of time. They do not need the stress of finding out they are gone off the list, and then attempt to get back on the list, and worry about going to the back of the queue again. Aside from the time waiting on the list there is also a fear of medical conditions worsening in this time.

“With such a high level of re-admittance to the lists there is clearly a problem with the methods used. People can have genuine reasons for not responding to a letter or call. For example, as we know, an Ophthalmology patient would have problems with theirvision. Similarly, an orthopaedic patient will have problems with their mobility. So there are valid reasons as to why someone might miss an appointment or follow up call.

“It is majorly concerning that the HSE have said it is not possible to give accurate information on the number of patients placed back on the waiting lists. They should examine their policy of validating waiting lists, and consider the circumstances the patient may find themselves in. They do not deserve the stress and worry,” concluded Deputy Moynihan.