Pa Daly TD has expressed concern at reports of radiology delays in University Hospital Kerry.
Teachta Daly said:
“Over the past 18 months I have been contacted by constituents weekly with concerns about delays in accessing healthcare in Kerry.
“Any healthcare need that is withheld or delayed is concerning, but perhaps the most concerning would be those services to diagnose or treat a serious illness such as cancer.
“Just this week I have heard from a constituent who is awaiting an urgent CT scan in Cork for over four months now to determine the appropriate treatment for a cancer diagnosis.
“Many will have heard reports on Radio Kerry regarding the lack of clerical resources in University Hospital Kerry to clear a backlog of patient referrals. This backlog is affecting adult and paediatric patients, many of whom are also cancer patients.
“When this issue was first brought to my attention in June this year, I wrote to the CEO of the South / South West Hospitals Group who referred the question to University Hospital Kerry. I have yet to receive an answer.
“The answer to this lack of resources cannot be to have the HSE pay a private hospital to clear the backlog. The investment must be in our local hospital to ensure that patients have the benefit of consistent care under their medical team and not outsourced in a haphazard fashion to the private sector.
“It is time now to stop outsourcing public funds to private resources, and phase out the reliance on charities to raise funds for equipment in our public hospitals.
“In the last three days alone, I have talked to constituents about the following:
- 19-hour waiting periods to be seen in A&E;
- Difficulty contacting medical teams for family members, who in some cases are disoriented or incapacitated, and unable to speak for themselves;
- Ambulances waiting up to eight hours to hand over patients to UHK. This caused a two-hour wait for an ambulance to turn around and attend to a Kerry patient who was eventually attended by a Bantry crew;
- Waiting lists for UHK and CUH.
“Our frontline staff have given their all since the start of this pandemic, and have worked under extremely difficult conditions I have no doubt they are committed to providing the best care possible.
“But the HSE must back them up, and must address the lack of resources that is being provided to the people of Kerry who deserve better.”