Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has said that the lack of ambition from Government in tackling health waiting lists is evident in the waiting list numbers.
He added the Minister’s targets are too low, lack ambition and are not matched with investment.
Speaking after the publication of the latest NTPF waiting list data, Teachta Cullinane said:
“While there has been some progress in reducing hospital waiting lists in 2023, the overall drop is very modest and insufficient.
“In the last year, since January 2023, the total waiting list has decreased by just 3%. As a result, at the end of January, there were still 679,247 patients on the active hospital waiting lists. The lack of ambition from Government is not good enough.
“2024 will be a real lost opportunity in aggressively tackling health waiting lists. The recruitment embargo will bite hard this year, and the lack of funding for new measures will hamper progress.
“The recruitment embargo should be halted, the 1,500 rapid build beds promised should be funded and delivered as quickly as possible, and more urgency needs to be injected into delivering the elective only hospitals. These are crucial to reducing waiting lists at pace and with ambition.
“Long health waiting lists, coupled with high numbers of patients waiting in Emergency Departments for beds, are a product of bad policies and a lack of political leadership. We need real change in healthcare.
“A Sinn Féin-led Government would urgently deliver 2,400 hospital beds, fund additional step down and recovery beds, increase surgical theatre and diagnostic capacity, accelerate the delivery of elective only hospitals and improve access to primary and community care.”