Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another Experience that shows Hospital Waiting Times are Worsening

Despite claims by Fine Gael and Minister for Health James Reilly, waiting times for many Hospital appointments are worsening by the month in some instances.  

Today I had to write to a constituent to tell her that she will have to wait at least four additional months before the pain she is experiencing will be addressed.  This lady was placed on a waiting list to see a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Monaghan General Hospital back in October 2012.

In November of last year I asked my local TD and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin to make enquiries into the expected timeframe for the appointment.  In a written response dated 27th November the HSE stated “the current waiting time for this appointment is approximately eight months.

Upon learning earlier this month that my constituent had received no date from the HSE I again asked Deputy Ó Caoláin to make enquiries.  In a written reply dated 17th May I was shocked to read that “the current waiting time for this appointment is twelve months”!

I know that there are thousands of cases like this across the state.  I am trying to highlight this one because it again exposes the Fine Gael lie that Health services are improving.   Serious questions need to be answered,

How can waiting times for an appointment such as this increase by 50% in such a short space of time?  How can the Minister justify a full year waiting list for patients to meet a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon?

We have been listening to Minister James Reilly since he came into office claiming that the experience for patients is improving by the day.  This revelation shows that this is far from the case for many. 

The reality is that the Fine Gael government has simply taking up where Fianna Fáil left off when it comes to the management of the Health services.  Plenty of spin is forthcoming but behind it all are lengthening waiting times and suffering patients.

The lady in question is obviously devastated that an appointment which she thought was imminent has been put back by at least another four months.

I have asked Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin to raise this matter with the Minister.  His failures will not go unchecked.