Skip to main content
Press Releases

Waiting Lists Signal A Health Service Close To Breaking Point

Once again the figures for the numbers of people on hospital waiting lists have risen dramatically and with almost 510,000 people now awaiting an appointment or surgery, the situation is now approaching the point of total breakdown unless something is done.
I note also that from today’s figures that Galway University Hospital has the highest number of patients in the country awaiting surgery at 11,099 which is a scandal. I have consistently called for the re- establishment of the National Treatment Purchase Fund so that this backlog can be cleared in private hospitals in the North of Ireland and abroad where appropriate. That must be put in place now and not in 2017 as we have heard in the latest proposals. It is a shocking disgrace that in some cases people are living with intolerable pain and whose health is deteriorating rapidly because they cannot access treatment or surgery. Minister Harris must act to alleviate this situation immediately. Do we have to stand by and watch these figures grow even more as the months go by? We are told we have new politics, let us have a new way of approaching the problem of long waiting lists and take a multi faceted approach to solving the problem once and for all.