Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has slammed the latest waiting list data for In-patient and Day case treatment at Letterkenny University Hospital which show that despite the introduction of maximum permissible waiting times last year, the hospital is still failing to reach patient waiting targets.
The figures, which were provided to Deputy Doherty via Parliamentary Question, reveal that there are currently 56 patients awaiting treatment who have been on waiting lists at the hospital for more than 15 months: the maximum permissible waiting time set down by the Department of Health.
Commenting on the figures, Deputy Doherty said: "Before the summer recess, I decided to raise the issue of waiting times at Letterkenny hospital with the Health Minister in an effort to see if the Government’s targets on maximum patient waiting times of 15 months were being achieved.
“I have now received the data which I requested with respect to the latest patient waiting times and it is clear from these figures that the hospital is failing to meet these targets.
“The data shows that as of July this year, there were 56 people waiting for either Day case or In-patient treatment for longer than the 15 month maximum permissible waiting time target as was introduced in 2015 by the previous Minister for Health.
“If we break those figures down into individual specialities, we see that the two departments with the longest waiting lists are Orthopaedics and Urology with 20 and 16 patients waiting for more than 15 months respectively.
“While the Government continues to spin the line that overall performance across all acute public hospitals combined equated to 95% achievement for the 15 month maximum permissible wait time for Day case and In-patient care, clearly Letterkenny University Hospital is struggling to reach these waiting targets.
“What is important for us to remember here is that behind every one of these statistics is a person who is suffering because they cannot access the treatment which they need in a timely and effective manner, and that is simply not good enough when people’s health is in question.
“It’s crucial that I fulfill my role for the people who chose me to represent them and to hold the authorities and the Government to account, and I intend to raise these unacceptable waiting times with the Minister in the Dáil as soon as sittings resume later next month.”