CALLS have been made for the HSE to provide more clear geographical data on the number of people awaiting audiology services across Cork and Kerry.
As things stand, the HSE compiles audiology waiting lists into one area — South Lee — because that is the location of audiology services in Cork and Kerry.
The latest data shows there were 1,835 children awaiting audiology services in Cork in October last year — all on the South Lee waiting list.
There is no data provided to show how many people are waiting in each part of Cork and for the whole of Kerry. However, a spokeswoman for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare revealed that there were 3,654 patients awaiting an audiology appointment across Cork and Kerry at the end of last year.
Calls have been made for the HSE to clarify how many people are awaiting audiology services in each part of Cork and Kerry.
Labour local area representative Peter Horgan, who obtained the waiting list information from the HSE alongside his colleague and Cork TD Seán Sherlock, said: “It is positive that the waiting list numbers are reducing but we still have the situation where we are not sure of the geographical positions of those awaiting audiology intervention.
“We cannot be expected to believe that the entire bulk of audiology is concentrated between Blackrock and Bandon.
“People outside of South Lee surely have received notices of their delay so that data is held by the HSE.
“The skewed collation of data undermines longer-term public health planning also,” Mr Horgan said.
The Cork Kerry Community Healthcare spokeswoman said:
“The audiology service across Cork and Kerry is centralised to a main administrative and clinical facility at St Finbarr’s Health Campus in Cork City,” she explained.
“There is outreach to Bantry for West Cork and an outreach service from a Kerry base in Centrepoint Tralee.
“The children’s wait list is a single list. A separate wait list is maintained for adults in Kerry.
“Across Cork and Kerry there were 3,645 patients awaiting an appointment as of end December 2021. Of those waiting, 1,863 were adults.”