May 10, 2024
Hospital waiting lists continue to rise, breaking 900,000 – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has expressed concern that waiting lists are continuing to rise, following an increase of 5,000 patients on active waiting lists in April 2024 compared to March. Waiting lists have increased by 13,000 since February.

Teachta Cullinane said that there are now 901,885 patients on hospital waiting lists, including 741,000 who are still waiting on an appointment date.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“In the last month, waiting lists have grown again, this time by 5,000. There are now 741,000 people waiting on an appointment date, and 901,885 patients in total on waiting lists.

“59% of patients are waiting longer than the Sláintecare target for a procedure, and 69% are waiting longer than target for an outpatient consultation.

“The Minister for Health’s waiting list plans have failed to make a dent in hospital waiting lists. The truth is the Minister can publish as many plans as he wants, but without adequate funding to increase capacity they are just meaningless words on paper.

“The dangerous recruitment embargo is still in place, and the Government has not funded the 3,000 hospital and community beds that are needed. They have even failed to fund the 1,500 hospital beds which the Minister promised. 

“2024 will be a real lost opportunity in tackling health waiting lists because of the government’s disastrous budget. The recruitment embargo is biting hard, and the lack of funding for new measures is holding the health service back.

“To properly and sustainably tackle waiting lists, the recruitment embargo should be lifted and the government should fund the 1,500 rapid build beds that are needed. These are crucial to reducing waiting lists at pace and with ambition. Sinn Féin has costed and proposed

“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.

“A Sinn Féin-led government would fully fund the delivery of 1,800 hospital beds and 1,200 community beds which would greatly improve hospital efficiency and safety. We would also invest in capital infrastructure and workforce planning to increase surgical theatre and diagnostic capacity, accelerate the delivery of elective-only hospitals and improve access to primary and community care.

“The health service needs a multi-annual plan to sustainably reduce waiting lists and if I was Minister for Health, I would work tirelessly to increase capacity, retain and train more workers, and build a strong public health service that can see and treat patients in a timely fashion.”

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