It has been revealed that the number of Donegal people currently on the Letterkenny University Hospital waiting list has now passed 17,000.
The August 2018 National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures show that 17,190 Donegal people are awaiting treatment at LUH. This is the highest number ever at the hospital, up from 16,666 at this time last year.
In response to these figures, Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn says Ireland’s health system is a ‘cruel, unequal, under-resourced and mismanaged mess.’
Senator Mac Lochlainn has said the figures are ‘straight out cruelty’ to the people waiting in pain.
He said: “Behind these numbers are thousands of people from every town, village and town land across Donegal living with ill health and in real daily pain. They are being forced to live over long periods of time waiting and waiting in growing anxiety for consultations, operations or procedures.
“This is not an accident. This reflects a right wing ideological approach from Fine Gael and supported by Fianna Fáil that pushes our people towards private health insurance and paying a second time for their health service. And handing more and more of our health services to the private for profit sector.
“It is just straight out cruelty to leave so many of our people in agony and anxiety waiting and waiting while those with private health insurance can leapfrog over them. This two tier system has to end.
“Other countries have introduced health systems that are fair and free at the point of delivery, funded by a fair and equitable tax system. Why can’t we do this here in the 26 Counties of Ireland?
“Sinn Féin will continue to fight for this system across the island of Ireland with our costed policies produced every year ahead of the budget.
Senator MacLochlainn continued: “30 months on, it is now clear that this “Confidence and Supply” or “New Politics” arrangement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil is failing our people. If they extend it again, it is not in the national interest but rather in their own selfish and narrow political interest.
“The Irish people deserve a health system that is fair and efficient not this cruel, unequal, under resourced and mismanaged mess that we have today.”