March 8, 2024
Year on year rise in children’s surgical wait times evident in new NTPF waiting list data – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Minister for Health to put a specific focus on reducing wait times for children who are waiting for procedures in 2024. He said that timely surgery is crucial for childhood development. 

Teachta Cullinane was responding to the publication this evening of hospital waiting list data for February 2024. It is the first time it is possible to make a year on year comparison of waiting lists against Slaintecare targets as the publication of this data only commenced in February 2023.

The TD for Waterford said that, following an analysis of new waiting list data, the number of children waiting for surgeries and other procedures has increased from 9010 to 9853, and that the number waiting longer than the target of 12 weeks has increased from 6345 (70%) to 7126 (72%).

Teachta Cullinane said:

“Surgical waiting lists for children are growing, which is a concerning trend. Overall these waiting lists are up by 9% in a year, and 72% of children are now waiting longer than the 12 week target compared to 70% last year. 

“This means that 800 more children are waiting longer than 12 weeks for a procedure compared to the same period last year. 

“The Government and Minister for Health’s incompetence around the Children’s Hospital is having a direct effect on these waiting lists. Existing Children’s Hospitals cannot expand, and resources have not been put into the major regional hospitals to take strain off of the major Dublin-based Children’s Hospitals. 

“The Minister for Health must ensure that patients, whether adults or children, are getting care on the basis of need. Children especially need timely care because otherwise it can severely impact on their development. I am calling on the Minister to put a specific focus on children’s surgical waiting lists this year to bring them down in line with surgical lists for adults, which have been reducing slowly.

“The health service needs a multi annual plan to sustainably reduce waiting lists and if I was Minister for Health, I would work tirelessly to increase capacity, retain and train more workers, and build a national health service that can see and treat patients in a timely fashion.”

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