Hospital group says it has undertaken 'substantial work' to address wait lists in Cork hospitals

In the region of 85,000 people are waiting for outpatient appointments or inpatient procedures at hospitals in Cork.
Hospital group says it has undertaken 'substantial work' to address wait lists in Cork hospitals

According to the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund almost 85,000 people were waiting for outpatient appointments or inpatient procedures at hospitals in Cork last month, with more than 20,000 of these waiting for longer than 18 months to be seen.

The South/ South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) has said that it has undertaken “substantial work” to address and prioritise waiting list targets.

It comes as Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central Thomas Gould called on the government to immediately resource the health service in Cork. 

He claimed that vulnerable people wait months, if not years, for services that he said could have huge impacts on their quality of life. 

"It has to be acknowledged that during these waits, conditions which were simple or minor often become much more complex and serious,” Deputy Gould said.

According to the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund almost 85,000 people were waiting for outpatient appointments or inpatient procedures at hospitals in Cork last month, with more than 20,000 of these waiting for longer than 18 months to be seen.

'Substantial work'

A spokesperson for the hospital group has said that it, in collaboration with individual hospitals, has undertaken substantial work to address and prioritise waiting list targets, including maximum patient wait times to improve patient access to services.

The spokesperson for the SSWHG said it has generated additional capacity by way of insourcing (out of hours) and outsourcing models (private hospitals) utilising Sláintecare non-recurring funding and National Treatment Purchase Funding (NTPF).

“However, the hospitals remain challenged with Covid-19 patients and unscheduled care demands, directly impacting on planned scheduled care activity.

“The proactive management of waiting lists is ongoing, however, patients with immediate medical needs are always prioritised,” the spokesperson said.

Endoscopy wait times 

Deputy Gould pointed out that there are 2,205 people awaiting endoscopies with over 15% of these waiting over six months, and 1,207 people on a waiting list for colonoscopies.

“The problem that we have now is that hospitals have no capacity to treat minor cases and so, minor cases become severe.

“Failure to undertake these diagnostic procedures could see serious conditions go untreated. People cannot be allowed to fall through the gaps in healthcare anymore."

He said details are needed on plans for the new elective hospital for Cork.

“It is time for proper investment in our health services, investment that will see a health service that delivers for people,” he said.

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