Another month has gone by and once again the figures for Hospital Waiting Lists have gone up again. Most worrying of all is the growth once again in the number of people who are waiting for surgery which is up 1,000 in just a month to a staggering figure of 78.621 people. The HSE says that the figures reflect a growing influx of patients attending hospitals which may be true, but it and points to a serious lack of forward planning. Why is this increase not being catered for when budgets for services are being set?
Minister Harris and the HSE are constantly making excuses for these completely unacceptable figures while the numbers of ordinary people waiting ages to be seen by a specialist, and worse again waiting for surgery grow and grow. A figure of 20 million Euro was provided in the budget for the National Treatment Fund in 2017 to help address the situation with regard to surgery, and while that is welcome, it is only a drop in the ocean when faced by the huge problem that we have at the moment. We need to hear concrete plans from Minister Harris and the HSE to address this situation once and for all or we will be here again next month and every month after that looking at increased figures. The system will break down altogether if this problem is not dealt with as soon as possible.