Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called for Budget 2022 to address capacity deficiencies and the cost of healthcare to tackle waiting lists and overcrowding.
He said that it should also deliver an Irish National Health Service, which Sinn Féin will be proposing in its alternative budget this year.
He added that IT modernisation and the implementation of an integrated waiting list management system with a centralised referral system is a no-brainer, which would make healthcare more accessible.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The pandemic has taught us that our health service is not fit for purpose.
“Budget 2022 must target accessibility and affordability of healthcare to tackle waiting lists and overcrowding.
“That means more beds and staff, an expansion of theatre capacity for more operations, and investment in diagnostic equipment which is readily available.
“Delivering an Irish National Health Service means expanding universal primary care, removing private healthcare from public hospitals, and ensuring the health service can meet the health needs of the population.
“The Minister must also set out a timeframe for delivering an integrated waiting list management system with a centralised referral system.
“This is a no-brainer and we have been waiting years for it.
“As it stands, patients are referred to multiple consultants instead of a single, centralised system based on waiting lists.
“The waiting list data itself is wrong – how can we measure success and failure if simple metrics like waiting lists are inaccurate?
“Building an Irish National Health Service, based on modern health systems, is essential for tackling waiting lists and delivering the affordable and accessible healthcare that people need.”