Speaking this evening after the National Treatment Purchase Fund released the hospital waiting list data for August, Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly said recruiting additional staff, such as consultants and nurses, is necessary to reduce hospital waiting lists which jumped by over 4,000 patients in August.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“It is very disappointing, but an inevitable consequence of government policy that the number of patients waiting for a hospital outpatient appointment increased again last month. Outpatient waiting lists saw a significant surge as they jumped by 4,669 people in August.
“This is the same story almost every month and is a clear indication that we do not have enough staff or capacity in our hospitals to dramatically reduce these waiting lists.
“A particular cause for concern are patients who are waiting excessive times for an appointment, such as the over 177,000 people waiting over a year for an outpatient appointment.
“These people are at particular risk and we need to see a renewed focus from the HSE and the Minister for Health to dramatically reduce these lists.
“The inability to reduce these waiting lists is partially caused by the recruitment and retention crisis across the health service, in particular among consultant doctors. It is imperative that the recruitment ban in the HSE is lifted and that additional staff are recruited to tackle these out of control waiting lists.”