Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has revealed that there were 8,673 appointment cancellations at Tallaght University Hospital last year, an increase of 20% on 2022, according to new data released to Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD by the HSE.

Teachta Crowe said:

“The Government is failing to tackle hospital overcrowding which is leading to record levels of cancellations. There were 8,673 hospital appointments cancelled at Tallaght University Hospital in 2023. This represents an increase of 20% on 2022 and is an extremely concerning figure that represents real people missing out of vital appointments and hospital care.

“The 13 years under Health Ministers Varadkar, Harris, and Donnelly have made the health service worse. They have decimated local health services and created a crisis in our hospitals. The Government does not have a plan for hospital overcrowding, and this is forcing hospitals to rely on cancellations. This is shifting the problem from overcrowded emergency departments onto lengthy waiting lists. It is not a sustainable solution.

“Sinn Féin has a plan for the health service to improve access, tackle hospital overcrowding, and reduce lengthy waiting lists. We would deliver 3,000 hospital and community beds to tackle overcrowding and inefficiency, end the recruitment embargo and train more health care professionals to safely staff the health service, and invest in better local health services including GP care and a pharmacy-first model.

“Sinn Féin would fast-track elective centres so that we can separate unscheduled, emergency care from scheduled surgeries and procedures. This will increase surgical theatre capacity, help to reduce the number of cancellations, and free up capacity in hospitals for emergency care.

“We would also invest in home support, community step-down beds, and diagnostic capacity so that patients can be discharged home or to a supported care setting when they are ready, and to ensure that patients’ experiences are not delayed by lengthy waiting lists for scans.

“Unfortunately, Simon Harris will not fix in 10 months the disaster which Fine Gael have created over 13 long years. It is well past the time for a Health Minister who will stand up for people and deliver the change that the health service needs.”