Government needs new strategy on health as waiting times in Cavan soar – Smith

Out-patients waiting list up 36% since January, almost 400% in a year

18% of all patients waiting for out-patient appointment at CGH are waiting over 12 months

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has said the Government’s health strategy has been a disaster for the area as evidenced by the latest figures on in-patients and out-patient waiting lists.

The latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) show that almost 400 people joined the out-patient waiting list at Cavan General Hospital since January, increasing the waiting list by 36.3%.  Over 18% of all patients are waiting more than 12 months for an appointment.

Deputy Smith said, “The number of people waiting more than a year for an out-patient appointment has risen by 36% since the start of 2015, and is extremely worrying.  But the spike in out-patient waiting times since May last year has jumped by almost 400%.  Over the past year the number of people waiting more than 12 months for an outpatient appointment has increased by 1,116. 

“This Government’s decision to strip the NTPF of its main role in driving down hospital waiting lists has proved to be a disaster for Cavan.  In the past, the fund purchased spare capacity from the private sector to cut the number of public patients waiting for treatment in public hospitals.  The fund treated almost 200,000 people with average waiting times being slashed from between two and five years to two to three months.  Under Fine Gael and Labour these figures have gone through the roof.  Nationally outpatient waiting lists have climbed to over 412,000.

“Fianna Fáil is committed to establishing a special task force to produce a plan to ensure that all scheduled day case/in patient care is delivered within the internationally recognised target of six months.  In the meantime the Government needs to restore the NTPF to its former role and properly resource it to tackle the waiting list crisis.

“After four years of false budgets, bogus targets and bad Ministerial management it’s clear that this Government’s health policy has been nothing short of disaster for Cavan and Monaghan and we need a new direction for the health service in Ireland that puts patients and services first.”