Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described figures he has received from the Minister for Health Simon Harris regarding waiting times to see a Dermatologist in Tallaght University Hospital as ‘disturbing and dangerous.’
The Sinn Féin TD had asked Minister Harris if a 12 month waiting period for a local constituent to see a dermatologist in Tallaght Hospital was usual or was it excessive. Crowe was informed that currently over half of the 2,868 patients on the waiting list have been waiting over 9 months or more for an appointment.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Having to wait 9 months or more for to see a dermatologist in Tallaght Hospital is not only cruel but also dangerous. There are currently 2,868 people waiting to see a dermatologist and over half have been waiting 9 months or more, with 691 waiting over 18 months. This is clearly not acceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.
“I had asked Minister Harris if a 12 month waiting period for a local constituent was usual or was it excessive. His reply which outlined these excessive and dangerous waiting times was troubling.
“Minister Harris claims he is taking a number of steps to ensure the lists are accurate and that the National Treatment Purchase Fund and his Department are finalising an action plan for treatment care for patients.
“That is to be welcomed but treatment for a medical condition in Ireland should not be reliant on where you live, who you know, or how much money you have, but that is largely the way his health system has evolved under successive Governments.
“Surely anyone in need of medical care for inflamed, irritating, infected skin conditions, should not have to wait months and or even years as they while their condition worsens. This is downright cruel, dangerous, and unacceptable.
“There are now more than 707,000 people on a waiting list for a medical procedure, that’s around one in every seven people in the State.
“This week Sinn Féin is bringing forward a motion to the Dáil which calls on the Government to implement the Sláintecare report in its entirety and to introduce a new and single Integrated Hospital Waiting List Management IT System to reduce waiting lists. The Government must urgently invest in our public health system to help tackle waiting lists and stop diverting public monies into the hands of private health interests.”