May 7, 2020
State has only 55 days left to maximise use of private hospitals – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said the government need to get working on maximising the use of private hospital capacity and use the facilities and staff to carry out cancer care, time-dependent surgery, and National Treatment Purchase Fund work before the agreement runs out.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“While we know that the contractual arrangement that the HSE have entered into with private hospitals has been a very good deal for private hospitals and bad deal for the taxpayer, unless the government start maximising the use of these facilities then the deal will have been a farce.

“We understand the need for some capacity to be kept to deal with a potential COVID related surge, but there is significant unmet need in the  number of non-COVID related cases and procedures, and these also have to be catered for.

“A surge is building of patients in need of care that is not COVID19 related, and unless the government and the HSE start addressing this care, health difficulties will escalate and there will be fatalities.

“Therefore, there is a serious need for the capacity which the State has bought in the private sector to be put to maximum use before the deal ends on June 30th.

“These facilities need to be put to use immediately to reduce inpatient and outpatient waiting lists, specifically focusing on cancer care, time-dependent surgery, and National Treatment Purchase Fund work which these hospitals have previous experience of.

“We have only eight weeks left to maximise the resources the State has purchased under this deal and unless we see immediate action then a bad deal will be made even worse.”

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