Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson and Donegal T.D. Pearse Doherty has described the latest report from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) which has revealed a huge increase in the number of patients awaiting In-patient treatment at Letterkenny University hospital as ‘deeply alarming’.
The NTPF data shows that the number of patients on waiting lists for day treatment at the hospital peaked during month of August, with 2,752 people awaiting In-Patient procedures compared to just 2,452 in January: an increase of over 12 per cent.
The figures come less than a week following the party’s criticism of the news that waiting lists for Out-Patient appointments at the hospital had increased considerably during the same period.
Reacting to the figures, Deputy Doherty said; “This latest report from the National Treatment Purchase Fund into Day Case and Inpatient waiting times at Letterkenny Hospital is deeply alarming and the findings again show that the hospital is unable to cope with growing patient demand on its services.
“If we examine the figures, we can clearly see that in the seven months between the end of January and August this year, the total number of patients waiting to be called for Day treatment rose by more than 12 per cent, with some three hundred additional patients added to waiting lists so far this year across each of the various specialities.
“What makes these figures more worrying still is the fact that the largest percentage increase in waiting times can be found in the longest recognised timeband, where in January just seventeen patients were waiting 18 months or more for treatment, but by August the number of patients within this waiting band had risen to seventy one in total.
“Looking at the figures more closely, we can see that the longest waiting times are currently being experienced by patients awaiting In-patient procedures in Orthopaedics, Gynaecology as well as for General Surgery.
“The hospital now has a total of 2,752 patients waiting for Day case procedures to be carried out, and waiting lists have grown almost every month during 2017 meaning that the situation is getting worse rather than better for patients.
“Neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil has demonstrated that they have the capabilities to effectively deal with and resolve the problems which exist within our health service, and have instead shown that they are more interested in providing tax breaks for the well off.
“Sinn Féin has laid our cards on the table in terms of our health policy, and we have shown how we would introduce a progressive alternative for our health service, by ending the chaotic two-tier health system and replacing it with a universal healthcare system, free at the point of delivery and centred around improving patient outcomes as opposed to cost-cutting initiatives.”Tags: