Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the current hospital waiting list system, made up of over 650,000 patients awaiting life changing operations, as cruel and obviously not delivering for these patients in a fast or efficient manner. The number of people on waiting lists in Tallaght Hospital alone increased by 198 in August, leaving the total number at 27,181.

The Sinn Féin TD called for a complete overhaul of the system including the introduction of an integrated IT system that would help achieve shorter waiting times by actively transferring patients to hospitals that have space and have the ability and the skills to offer a service in a reasonable timescale.

Deputy Crowe said:

“Over 650,000 people, enough people to fill 9 Croke Park’s stadiums, are currently waiting on life changing operations in the Irish health service. Behind every patient is a personal story, many are in pain or discomfort, and depending on their ailment and their location, they could be waiting either months or years for their treatment.

“According to the latest figures in Tallaght Hospital alone there are 27,181 on waiting lists, a figure which increased by 198 in August. This is clearly not acceptable.

“Sinn Féin believes that in order to successfully tackle the long waiting list crisis in the Irish health system a new model is needed to maximise the capacity of the public hospital system, alongside the introduction of strategic management across all waiting lists.

“An integrated IT system would also help to achieve shorter wait times by actively transferring those on the list from hospitals that are failing to meet the target to hospitals that have the ability and the skills necessary to offer the service in a reasonable timescale.

“Under this updated and more efficient system, patients would see increased funding for hospitals which would be directly linked to reducing public waiting lists, providing a clear incentive to treat more patients.

“We believe that this policy is the best strategy to tackle the lengthening waiting lists and would help transform the current system that is clearing not delivering the quality service that our citizens require and deserve.”