Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North Denise Mitchell has raised concern as almost 5,000 appointments at Beaumont Hospital have been cancelled since the beginning of the year.
She has said that dysfunction across the health service is driving a vicious cycle of overcrowding, cancellations, and long waits, and that a multi-annual plan is needed to expand hospital capacity and develop a sustainable workforce.
The data was released by the HSE to Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD.
Teachta Mitchell said:
“Information released to Sinn Féin Health spokesperson David Cullinane TD has revealed that more than 85,000 hospital appointments have been cancelled so far this year across the state, including more than 24,000 in April.
“This includes 4,935 cancelled appointments in Beaumont Hospital.
“It is clear that there is a vicious cycle of overcrowding, cancellations and long waits in the health service. A multi-annual plan is needed to expand hospital capacity and develop a sustainable workforce.
“This is happening because Government has not made the necessary investments in hospital care or in community care.
“There is a deficit of 1,000 acute inpatient beds in hospitals, and there are now more than 6,000 people waiting for home support across the state.
“There are hundreds of delayed discharges every year because of the lack of community recovery beds and home support.
“The health service is not delivering the right care in the right place at the right time. We are seeing this across primary care now, with longer waiting times for GPs and dentistry, which will lead to worse health outcomes.
“Waiting times are rising across the board. All of this dysfunction is leading to more emergency presentations which is leading to more cancellations. It is a vicious cycle which has not been broken.
“In the meantime, patients in Dublin Bay North are forced to pay the price for the government’s failure to get to grips with the crisis in our health service.
“Sinn Féin in government would invest in the health service, to ensure patients get the high quality, timely care they need.”