URGENT actions are needed to tackle lengthy hospital waiting lists, including in Bantry, a Sinn Féin member has said.
Clare O’Callaghan, who was recently selected to contest the next general election for Sinn Féin in Cork South West, was commenting as the party launched its ‘waiting list experience survey.’ Clare said urgent action is needed in the face of a ‘tsunami’ of delayed and missed care.
‘It is barrelling down on the health service’, she said, adding that it is particularly needed in Cork South West, given the excessive waiting lists in both Bantry and Cork University Hospitals.
‘HSE waiting lists in Cork hospitals are in excess of 1,677 in Bantry and 29,633 at Cork University Hospital and this includes 5,069 children,’ said Clare. ‘Bantry, in particular needs investment because of the 1,677 people on the lists, and more than 623 are waiting over a year,’ said Clare.
She noted that overall patients are waiting longer than ever to receive care and one in five consultant posts are either vacant or filled on a temporary basis, despite a sufficient number of graduates leaving education.
Clare pointed out that there are three consultant posts not filled on a permanent basis, with two vacant in Bantry Hospital, while there are 20 consultant posts not filled on a permanent basis, with 25 vacant at Cork University Hospital.
‘The health service is at crisis point and it is not fit for purpose. Action is needed now. Everywhere we look in the health service, from waiting lists to Covid-19, and the cyber attack, there is a fire to be put out and an emergency to be tackled. It is limping from crisis to crisis.
‘We need an urgent plan to catch up on missed care, reduce waiting lists and deliver a universal health service. We need a fresh start with a system which is fair for workers, equitable for patients, efficient and modern.’