Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North Frank O’Rourke says he is growing increasingly concerned by the deterioration in waiting lists for spinal surgery services at Tallaght Hospital.

Patients from across the country are referred to Tallaght Hospital for spinal treatment surgeries. New figures obtained by Deputy O’Rourke show that the number of people waiting for treatment has climbed considerably in recent months.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “Tallaght Hospital currently provides spinal surgery services for a number of hospitals, including Naas. There is a significant demand for such services but the Government has failed to set aside the necessary investment in recent years to ensure the hospital is able to cope with this demand.

“Last October there were 412 people on the spinal surgery outpatient waiting list at the Tallaght Hospital. However the number of people stuck on the waiting list has increased by over 32% since then as there are now 545 patients waiting for spinal surgery services. 130 patients who urgently require treatment have been stuck on the waiting list for up to 18 months while a further 203 patients are waiting up to 30 months. To make matters worse, 212 patients are currently waiting longer than 33 months for surgery.

“These figures clearly show that the waiting lists at Tallaght Hospital are rapidly deteriorating. It’s simply unacceptable that patients, who have been told that they urgently require treatment by their doctor, are expected to wait up to 18 months to receive the life altering surgery that they require. It’s expected that demand for such services is set to increase significantly in the years ahead so the waiting lists are likely to get even longer unless the Government takes action.

“I have previously called for a targeted investment programme to boost spinal surgery services at Tallaght Hospital. The latest waiting list figures show that such an investment programme is needed now more than ever,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.