Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called for urgent action on plans to reduce waiting lists after it was revealed that there is no unit or director responsible for implementing waiting list management plans in the Department of Health or the HSE.
He also called for major investment in this year’s budget in IT modernisation, including rolling out unique patient identifiers, a centralised referral system, and an integrated waiting list management system.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The lack of urgency in reducing waiting lists is scandalous as we face a tsunami of missed care and years-long backlogs in healthcare.
“The problems which pre-dated Covid have been exposed and the system is near collapse.
“The fact that there is still no unit or person willing to take responsibility for the most important job in health at the moment is a political failure.
“I have asked that the health committee hosts hearings to examine failures to date in tackling waiting lists and implementing IT modernisation.
“Waiting list reduction needs to be the major priority in health. This needs to be taken seriously and promises made must be delivered.
“We need to see urgent action on waiting lists, including new IT systems to measure success and failure.
“Sinn Féin are calling for a major €100m investment in IT modernisation across the health service in the budget this year.
“The waiting list data is all over the place, and with more than 900,000 people waiting the figures speak for themselves.
“We need to sort out the data if we are to set the metrics for reducing waiting lists.
“That must be underpinned by major investment this year in IT modernisation, including rolling out unique patient identifiers, disease registries, a centralised referral system, and an integrated waiting list management system.”