Health budget increases must result in waiting list reductions – Chambers

Published on: 16 October 2018

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says the government must do more to bring hospital waiting lists under control.  She made the call as new figures released to her showed an increase in both inpatient and outpatient waiting lists at Mayo University Hospital.

Deputy Chambers explained, “Over the last number of years, waiting lists for hospital appointments and procedures have been going in the wrong direction, and the latest set of figures supplied to be by the Health Minister are further evidence of this government’s complete failure to tackle the problems in our health service.

“These figures reveal that in Mayo University Hospital alone there are more than 10,000 people waiting for appointments across a range of specialties.  Both lists have seen an increase over the last year.

“Last year the Health Minister made much of the fact that he had been allocated the biggest health budget on record.  Despite this, waiting lists are still increasing.  It appears clear that funding is not necessarily the issue and I am urging Minister Harris to take charge of the situation, identify what the blockages are, and put the necessary measures in place to deal with them.

“Fianna Fáil has pushed the government to make more use of the National Treatment Purchase Fund and made it a key priority in the Confidence and Supply arrangement.  We are beginning to see the impact of the additional funding with a 14% reduction in national waiting lists for surgery over the past 15 months.

“We need to continue this progress to ensure that all waiting lists see their numbers fall.  The funding secured for the Fund in 2019 will make a difference but we also need the Minister to work harder to maximise efficiencies in the system so that people are not forced to wait months, or in some cases years to get an appointment”.

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