Frank O’Rourke has said Simon Harris’s tenure as Minister for Health has been marred by outpatient lists he simply cannot get to grips with.

Deputy O’Rourke was commenting as figures revealed that there has been a sharp increase in the number of patients languishing on outpatient waiting lists at Naas General Hospital since Minister Harris took up office.

                                     Frank O’Rourke

Deputy O’Rourke explained, “In May 2016 when Simon Harris became Minister for Health there were 839 people waiting greater than 12 months for an outpatient appointment at Naas General Hospital. In February 2019 this number stood at 2,989, representing a 256% increase. Nationally, there are now 541,899 people waiting for an appointment with a consultant. That’s almost equal to the population of Connacht at around 550,000. When the numbers waiting for an appointment is set to surpass the population of a province surely it’s time for the Minister to take action. This is clearly a crisis yet we see very little appetite from Minister Harris to tackle these astonishingly bad figures. Having had first-hand experience of the consultants and staff in Naas General Hospital – I know they are doing their very best under challenging circumstances. They deserve more help from the Minister”, concluded Deputy O’Rourke.


 James Lawless has said that he and party colleague Jack Chambers raised concerns about the location and cost implications about the National Children’s Hospital two years ago but they weren’t heeded.

James commented, “The childrens’ hospital costs continue to mount and questions around price, specification and site have to be asked. My colleague Jack Chambers TD and I were saying all this two years ago but the government didn’t want to know.”

Below is an article from 2017 detailing Jack and James’ concerns.

Click here


Frank O’Rourke TD has pressed the Government for additional resources to be provided for Home Care Packages for the Kildare region, a region falling behind other areas in terms of the number of packages needed.

Frank commented, “Winter can be a very difficult time for older people and their families. It’s also a period when hospitals are under pressure. As I established earlier in 2018, the Kildare Wicklow region has a significantly higher waiting list for Home care packages than other area. In June, we had 724 people on the waiting list, which proportionally was much higher than other areas.”

“It makes little sense to delay giving home care supports to people that need them and have been approved by the HSE to get them. It goes against the Government’s stated aim of ensuring people can continue living in their home if they so choose to do so. It is also leading to unnecessary overcrowding in our hospitals. There are many older people in hospitals that are ready to be discharged but are unable to return home as the necessary home care supports have not been put in place.” Continue reading “O’ROURKE DEMANDS ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR HOMECARE”


Kildare North TD Frank O’Rourke has called for the immediate restoration of the Dexa services in Naas General Hospital.

Deputy O’Rourke was commenting following a letter which was sent to his Party colleague, Stephen Donnelly TD, confirmed that ‘Dexa service to General Practitioners is suspended due to a national shortage of Radiographers’.

Deputy O’Rourke said, “I first raised this matter with my colleague and our Party Spokesperson on Health after many constituents and local GP’s came to me with concerns about obtaining Dexa scans. These scans are vital for measuring bone density and diagnosing bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Continue reading “O’ROURKE DEMANDS RESTORATION OF DEXA FACILITIES IN NAAS”


Frank O’Rourke TD has said it is wholly unfair that children in need of psychology services in North Kildare have been left high and dry by a failure of the HSE to secure replacement consultants to cover gaps in services and maternity cover.

Deputy O’Rourke was commenting after securing new information from the HSE that shows that the towns of Celbridge, Clane and Maynooth are once again without the services of a child psychologist.

“For the past period, the towns of Clane, Celbridge and Maynooth have been without a child psychologist. Last July, one was appointed to serve Clane and Celbridge leaving Maynooth without one.”

“However, in recent days I have learned that the recently appointed psychologist has now gone on maternity leave. This wouldn’t be an issue if the HSE had prepared the ground and sought a replacement to ensure that there was no break in service.”

“We are now back to square one with no child psychology service for these three large, and growing towns.

“The HSE must secure the services of locum psychologists to ensure that waiting lists do not begin to grow. Longer term, two full-time permanent psychologists are needed to cover this area.”

“I have written to the Minister for Health seeking an update on plans for interim replacements. We need an urgent response from the HSE to allay the fears and worries of parents,”
concluded O’Rourke.