Another Record High for Outpatient Waiting List – Donnelly

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly, says that the latest waiting lists figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show that the outpatient waiting list has hit another new high.

Deputy Donnelly commented, „556,411 people were waiting for an outpatient appointment with a consultant at the end of May 2019. That’s up over 40,000 since the end of last year.

„The Minister for Health said he hoped to stabilise outpatient waiting lists during 2019. He didn’t say what this meant but I doubt that anyone could define it as an increase of almost 8 per cent in five months.

„The real concern as ever is for the long waiters with an even bigger percentage increase – 18 per cent – in the numbers waiting over 18 months. Some 106,145 have been waiting since at least November 2017. 

„The words ‚scandal’ or ‚disgrace’ can be overused in politics, but I think they are the only words we can use in this situation. We have to keep in mind too that when these people finally see a consultant they may also have to wait a long time for any necessary treatment. 

„The fall in the In-Patient Day Case Waiting List is welcome. The restoration of the National Treatment Fund secured by Fianna Fáil under the Confidence and Supply arrangement is clearly paying dividends.

 „However, I am concerned that too many people are still waiting too long for treatment with 10,424 waiting over a year. We need to use the Treatment Purchase Fund as a guarantee of shorter waiting times – it needs to kick in for all patients after a set waiting time as it did during the years 2002 to 2010”, he concluded.

Fianna Fáil

Stephen Donnelly TD

Spokesperson on Health

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