April 17, 2024
Government incompetence sets new record of 250,000 hospital cancellations in 2023 – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD has revealed that hospital cancellations broke 250,000 last year, up by more than 58,000 on 2022, according to new data released to him by the HSE.

This includes more than 30,000 procedures, including 13,000 inpatient surgeries, more than 210,000 outpatient consultations, as well as thousands of scopes and hundreds of chemotherapy sessions. Children’s Health Ireland recorded 865 cancelled chemotherapy sessions for children in 2023, more than double the number (408) which were cancelled in 2022.

Teachta Cullinane said that the government’s lack of a plan for overcrowding was impacting directly on waiting lists through cancellations. He said that the government was shifting the problem from emergency departments to waiting lists, leaving patients waiting longer for access to care.

The TD for Waterford said that Sinn Féin has a plan to improve the health service by delivering 3,000 hospital and community beds, ending the recruitment embargo, training more healthcare professionals, and investing in local health services. 

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The government is failing to tackle hospital overcrowding which is leading to record levels of cancellations. There were more than 250,000 hospital appointments cancelled in 2023, up 30% on 2022. It is an extremely concerning spike.

“Thirteen years of Varadkar, Harris, and Donnelly have made the health service worse. They have decimated local health services and created a crisis in our hospitals. The government does not have a plan for hospital overcrowding, and this is forcing hospitals to rely on cancellations. This is shifting the problem from overcrowded emergency departments onto lengthy waiting lists. It is not a sustainable solution. 

“Sinn Féin has a plan for the health service to improve access, tackle hospital overcrowding, and reduce lengthy waiting lists. We would deliver 3,000 hospital and community beds to tackle overcrowding and inefficiency – end the recruitment embargo and train more health care professionals to safely staff the health service; and invest in better local health services including GP care and a pharmacy first model. 

“Sinn Féin would fast-track elective centres so that we can separate unscheduled, emergency care from scheduled surgeries and procedures. This will increase surgical theatre capacity, help to reduce the number of cancellations, and free up capacity in hospitals for emergency care.

“We would also invest in home support, community step-down beds, and diagnostic capacity so that patients can be discharged home or to a supported care setting when they are ready, and to ensure that patients’ experiences are not delayed by lengthy waiting lists for scans.

“Simon Harris will not fix in 10 months the disaster which Fine Gael have created over 13 years. It’s time for a Health Minister who will stand up for people and deliver the change that the health service needs.”

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