Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Older People, Patricia Ryan TD, has criticised the Minister for Health’s Waiting List Action Plan as a wish list of repackaged measures that will not address the fundamental problems that are causing hospital waiting lists.
Speaking following a meeting with local carers, Patricia said:
“The Minister told the Oireachtas health committee that current waiting lists are not acceptable and that he would launch a plan to tackle these. €350m was set aside in last year’s Budget for this purpose.
The Minister confirmed to my colleague David Cullinane TD at the Oireachtas Health committee that the €350m waiting list plan will not include a single cent of additional funding. It is a rehashing of previously announced funding & old targets dressed up as a new plan.
There are 898,000 people on acute health waiting lists, 226,966 on a diagnostic waiting list & 224,631 on community health wait lists. These are huge numbers with many waiting over a year for access to care.
Included in these figures are 86,000 people over the age of 75 who are on hospital waiting lists. Nearly 28,000 of these are waiting over a year for care. We need a plan to dramatically reduce waiting times. Our health services are failing older people.”