Doherty Blasts Minister as Waiting Lists at Sligo University Hospital Continue to Climb

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson has today (Wednesday) hit out at the Minister for Health for failing to seriously tackle escalating waiting lists at Sligo University Hospital (SUH).

The TD was reacting to the publication of figures compiled by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) which has revealed that there are currently 13,792 patients waiting to receive an out-patient appointment at the hospital – an increase of almost 12 per cent compared to a year ago.

The data also shows huge increases in the number of patients waiting in the longest waiting bands with the numbers waiting in excess of 18 months for care having jumped by some 95 per cent during the same period.

Reacting to the figures, Deputy Doherty said:

“This latest data into Out-patient waiting lists at Sligo University Hospital makes for some very harrowing reading.

“The NTPF figures reveal that in the twelve months between November 2017 and November last, the numbers waiting to receive an initial appointment at an Out-patient Clinic at the hospital has gone up by over 1,400 and now stands at 13,792.

“This represents an increase of over 11.6 per cent over the past twelve months, while we also see that the numbers waiting within the longest waiting time bands have all shot up over the past year.

“Most worrying however is the fact that when we examine the numbers more closely, we can see that the number of patients waiting over 18 months to see a Consultant at SUH has ballooned to 1,411 – an increase of over 95 per cent.

“And almost every Specialty is grappling to cope with demand, with Neurology, Orthopedics, Urology and the hospital’s ENT Clinic amongst the Departments where patients face some of the longest waits.

“These statistics are simply scandalous and paint a very bleak and harrowing picture of the state of hospital as it struggles, like many others across the state, to meet the needs of patients, despite the Trojan efforts of its hard working staff and health care professionals.

“The ongoing crisis in health is as a direct result of the flawed and failed policies of successive governments, policies which are continuing to be pursued by the current Minister for Health.

“I fear that these waiting lists will inevitably worsen as our hospitals are beset by the winter overcrowding crisis meaning that waiting lists will continue to grow and yet more patients will suffer as a result.”