Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that a serious crisis of missed care is facing the health service as more than 875,000 people are currently on waiting lists.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“There are now more than 876,968 people on waiting lists in this State – a hundred thousand more than this time last year.
“But waiting lists are larger than reported due to the massive amount of hidden missed care as a result of a major (16%) drop in outpatient referrals in 2020.
“These were down by 176,408 in 2020 compared to 2019.
“This brings the total to over 1,053,376.
“Compare that to 777,999 in February 2020 and 750,717 in February 2019.
“Waiting lists are a problem which predate the Covid-19 pandemic, but the public health emergency has exacerbated the issue.
“This is a very serious crisis. There will be a tsunami of missed care, and that is going to have serious consequences.
“Similarly, between day case and inpatient electives, planned procedures were down 401,014 on 2019 levels.
“This represents a serious shortfall in healthcare delivery that will need to be caught up on urgently to prevent conditions from getting far worse.
“The government need to be planning for this now and we urgently need capacity injected into the health service.
“That means staff and beds, but crucially it means investment in theatre space and equipment so that healthcare professionals can do their job.”