Michael Fitzmaurice TD has given a cautious welcome to yesterday’s news that some patients who are waiting over 18 months for medical procedures are to be treated in private Hospitals.
Michael Fitzmaurice said that he proposed that this course of action should be taken almost two years ago and added that “much more needs to be done to clear waiting lists and provide a better health service, particularly in the West of Ireland”.
While the €20 million committed to this scheme will be needed we have to ensure that the system works and that patients are not being referred back to the public system and put at the end of the waiting lists as has happened in a number of cases” he added.
37,000 cancellations in 2016
Deputy Fitzmaurice went on to say “We heard this week that a total of 37,000 operations or Hospital procedures were cancelled in 2016 which is an enormous figure. The worst affected hospital in the country in that regard was University Hospital in Galway where over 5,000 operations were cancelled. I have been contacted by numerous constituents whose procedures have been cancelled a number of times. These cancellations usually arise as a result of overcrowding in A and E departments and that situation is an ongoing scandal which is causing untold problems down the line.
The health service we are offering our elderly and ill people is just not good enough at the moment and much work needs to be done to put it right” he concluded.