Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has criticised the Taoiseach for putting spiralling waiting lists down to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that the major rise in waiting times came before the pandemic, and is a result of a failed approach in health that over relies on private medicine.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The Taoiseach is fundamentally wrong to say that spiralling wait times are down to Covid-19.
“The major increase from 385,781 in December 2014 to 556,770 in January 2020 cannot be blamed on the pandemic.
“The real effect of Covid has yet to be felt from a major drop in referrals and other factors related to the pandemic.
“As normality resumes, we will see a tsunami of missed care swell waiting lists further as hospitals are already at capacity.
“I cannot see how this Government will fix the problem if they don’t understand it.
“The only solution to waiting lists is major investment in capacity measures as we will outline in our Alternative Budget this year.
“That means more beds and, crucially, more staff, as well as major investment in IT modernisation to develop a centralised referral system and an integrated waiting list management system.
“I will also be proposing a major fund to expand theatre capacity and diagnostic equipment to boost hospital capacity to cut down waiting times.”