Frank O’Rourke TD has said the latest hospital waiting lists from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show the outpatient waiting list in Naas General Hospital is continuing its relentless upward surge
Frank said the figures show a 50% increase in the total number of people on outpatient waiting lists in the hospital since May 2016.
Frank O’Rourke TD has said it is unacceptable that 3,664 children and adolescents are waiting for primary care services in Kildare and West Wicklow
He was commenting as information compiled by Fianna Fáil paints a shocking picture of 90,000 children waiting for primary care treatments across the country. New information from the HSE also shows that 117,000 children across the country are waiting for hospital treatment.
Deputy O’Rourke said the Occupational Therapy list for Kildare – West Wicklow was particularly bad with 917 children waiting, including 614 who have been waiting for more than one year for an assessment.
He said, “The primary care lists which we have refer to vital treatment which greatly aides a child’s growth and development. That there are 3,664 children waiting for psychology, audiology, ophthalmology, dietetics, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, is simply unacceptable.”
Frank O’Rourke TD spoke on the unacceptable waiting times for children with special needs requirements in getting an appointment for an Assessment of Needs with the HSE.
Waiting times average 2 years and the delay in any diagnosis has a knock on effect at a critical stage in a child’s development, causing further delays in accessing essential services and supports, such as Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, and Speech and Language Therapy.
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.
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.