Waiting Lists in Louth Hospitals a scandal – Adams

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the hospital waiting lists as “scandalous” and accused three successive Fine Gael Health Ministers of failing patients and staff and of failing to end the crisis in Health.

The Louth TD was speaking in the Dáil during a Sinn Féin PMB on hospital waiting lists in the health service. Teachta Adams identified the waiting lists in Louth County Hospital and Our lady of Lourdes Drogheda as deeply worrying.

Gerry Adams said:

“Since 2011 Fine Gael has had three Ministers for Health. All have promised an end to the crisis in the health service. They have all failed. This is evident in the cervical screening scandal. It is evident in the ongoing crisis in our Emergency Departments.

The crisis in health is also evident in the failure to retain staff. It is evident in our grossly underfunded, under resourced mental health services. The failure to provide children in north Louth with access to Child Adolescent Mental Health Services; and the absence of a minor injuries unit in Louth County Hospital, are examples of this crisis.

In May over seven hundred thousand people were on hospital waiting lists. Over half a million are on outpatient waiting lists; and almost eighty thousand are on inpatient lists.

The two Louth hospitals – Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda – have almost fifteen thousand people on their outpatient waiting list. The same two hospitals have 1,330 patients on their inpatient list.

Behind these statistics are stories of real stress and hurt in people’s lives. This is nothing short of a scandal. It is a scandal compounded by the lack of accountability in government. It is a scandal made worse by Fianna Fáil’s propping up of this government and its health policies.

The health service needs practical alternatives to the current mess. Sinn Féin has these alternatives. We have consistently called for an integrated hospital waiting list management system; based on a Portuguese model; which the Minister agreed to pilot.

The government should introduce a SINGLE, Integrated Hospital Waiting List System as a matter of urgency. Sláintecare has to be implemented in full and urgently. And we need to be working toward the early creation of an all-island public health service.

Failure to adopt these proposals will sustain the perpetual health crisis for which this government is responsible.”

Cllr Imelda Munster Slams Waiting Lists in Drogheda Hospital

Imelda Munster at deskCommenting on the latest hospital outpatient and inpatient waiting list figures for November 2015, Drogheda based Sinn Féin Councillor and General Election Candidate Imelda Munster has slammed the Government’s failure to tackle the waiting lists.

According to Cllr Munster, “the people have had enough of the Government’s incompetence and its mismanagement of our public health service”.

Cllr Munster said: “This month we have seen a paltry 2% decrease in the outpatient waiting list at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, which currently stands at just under 11,000 people. Despite all the bluster from our Minister for Health, he has failed to deliver on the promise he made that no patient would be waiting more than 15 months for treatment by the end of the year.

“In our Lady of Lourdes Hospital alone, there are almost 1,200 people waiting over one year with over 350 waiting for over 15 months on the outpatient and inpatient lists. It is clear that this Government is out of its depth and incapable of effectively tackling this crisis.

“Instead of investing in our health service, Fine Gael and Labour have compounded the years of underinvestment and mismanagement of the health service under Fianna Fáil Governments. This Government’s health policy is in shambles – our nurses are ready to go on strike, Universal Health Insurance has gone out the window and instead of providing the necessary investment to our chronically under resourced hospitals, this Government has fined them to the tune of €5.8 million in a desperate attempt to make this issue disappear in the run up to an election!

“This would be laughable if it was not so serious. In November of this year 578 admitted patients were cared for on trolleys in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda – a complete scandal.

“The people of Louth and frontline health workers can no longer afford to wait for this Government to get its act together – it is time to call an election and let the people have their say.”