Number of Patients Waiting over a Year and a Half for Treatment Continues to Climb at LUH
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has reacted angrily to the latest waiting list data at Letterkenny University Hospital which has revealed that 2,351 patients have been waiting for over a year and half to receive outpatient treatment at the hospital.
The figures, which are for the month of July and were compiled by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), show that that numbers waiting in excess of 18 months to see a consultant have increased every month since the start of 2018.
It means that the number of patients within this waiting time band has gone up by 25 per cent since January.
Deputy Doherty said:
“These latest figures from the NTPF into Outpatient waiting times at Letterkenny University Hospital paint a horrific picture of the nature of the crisis within the hospital and within our health service more broadly.
“ The data represents those waiting for a first appointment at a consultant-led Outpatient clinic at the hospital and while the overall number of patients on waiting lists have remained relatively static at over 15,000 since March of this year, those waiting in the longest time bands for treatment have been increasing steadily.
“We can see from the figures that the number of patients who’ve been waiting for 15 months or more is now 10 per cent higher than at the start of 2018.
“However, the most alarming finding from the NTPF data relates to the numbers who’ve been waiting over a year and a half to see a consultant which now stands at 2,351 – a whopping 25 per cent increase since January.
“This is a very dangerous situation and the fact that the direction of travel here, whereby each month more and more patients are facing excessive waits to receive specialist treatment at the hospital, should be enough to spur government to take urgent action.
“However, this is unfortunately not the case and what we’ve seen time and time again from this Fine Gael government is a policy of sticking its head in the sand and allowing vulnerable people to suffer needlessly.
“While these figures will be extremely worrying and distressing to the people of this county, they will unfortunately come as no surprise to most as ordinary people have become so used to hearing of the huge crisis that exists within our health service, yet it’s met with little or no action from government.
“Given the fact that the Dáil is set to resume in the coming weeks, I intend to raise this issue with the Minister and call on him to intervene because clearly the time for action has long since come and gone.”