Health Minister sleeping as 101,000 children languish on hospital waiting lists, The Rural Independents – – Our News, Your Views

Health Minister sleeping as 101,000 children languish on hospital waiting lists, The Rural Independents

Stark figures lay bare the profound neglect of children, who face lifelong health implications, due to a broken healthcare system.

The Rural Independent Group has described growing public hospital waiting lists for children as cruel and represents a glaring failure to deliver basic healthcare, despite record funding. We believe the Taoiseach must also take accountability for appointing a Minister who is clearly incapable of doing the job, after two years of negligence.

The Leader of the group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath today (Friday, 26th August), stated:

“Children’s medical needs are not being met, as over 101,000 suffer on public hospital waiting lists. These figures, from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), are appalling and confirm over 4,000 more children have been added to ballooning waiting lists in the past six months.”

“Of the children on wait lists, over 87,200 are anticipating outpatient appointments, resulting in many children facing lifelong health implications and associated complications.”

“General paediatrics had the highest number of children waiting for an appointment at 18,013, followed by 15,828 waiting for an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist appointment, and 5,864 for a paediatric dermatology appointment.”

“These staggering record high lists represent gross incompetence and mismanagement by the Minister for Health and senior HSE management. Realistically, how can Minister Donnelly remain Health Minister when countless children await medical attention? Shockingly, 5,291 children alone are on an urgent surgery list, of whom 1,567 have been waiting more than a year.”

“Failure by the FF, FG and Green Party government to tackle the hospital waiting list emergency means almost one in every four of the entire population (almost 1.3 million people) are now on some form of medical waiting list at public hospitals.”

“Surely a Health Minister in any other country would already be let go. That is why we believe Minister Donnelly’s position is no longer legitimately tenable.”

“This situation is so serious that even patient advocacy groups are advising people to go North for treatment. Further recognition of this rests in the fact that our Rural Independent TDs organise and manage both transportation and administrative supports, to allow patients to avail of treatments in the North, under the cross border treatment directive.”

“A recent paper from the government-funded ESRI suggests that the current waiting list crisis is so brutally severe, that it will take between seven and ten years to clear the existing backlog.”

“Delaying medical treatment for a child can be catastrophic, as oftentimes the intervention has to be done during childhood, and the longer it is delayed, the greater the child’s condition can worsen.”

“That is why we are demanding an urgent debate on Ireland’s hospital waiting list crisis, on the floor of the Dail the first week after recess.”

“Equally important, we are calling on the Minister for Health and the government to take full accountability for this preventable emergency situation. The current ongoing fiasco cannot continue as health, wellbeing, and lives are consequently being compromised every day.”

“A proper accountable, managed, transparent, targeted, and time-bound action plan must be announced and delivered without delay. Hospital waiting lists need to rapidly decline. Currently, lists are growing under the current Minister’s tenure, and it is no longer tenable to deflect blame, hide behind the system or take cover behind reports and reviews,” concluded Deputy Mc Grath.

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