Adams describes hospital waiting lists in Louth as ‘scandalous’
Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the local hospital waiting lists as “scandalous” and accused three successive Fine Gael Health Ministers of failing patients and staff and of failing to end the crisis in Health.
The Sinn Féin deputy was speaking in the Dáil during a Sinn Féin Private Members’ Bill on hospital waiting lists in the health service. Deputy Adams identified the waiting lists in the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda as deeply worrying.
He said: “Since 2011 Fine Gael has had three Ministers for Health. All have promised an end to the crisis in the health service. They have all failed. This is evident in the cervical screening scandal. It is evident in the ongoing crisis in our Emergency Departments.
“The crisis in health is also evident in the failure to retain staff. It is evident in our grossly underfunded, under resourced mental health services. The failure to provide children in north Louth with access to Child Adolescent Mental Health Services; and the absence of a minor injuries unit in Louth County Hospital, are examples of this crisis.
“In May over 700,000 people were on hospital waiting lists. Over half a million are on outpatient waiting lists; and almost 80,000 are on inpatient lists.
“The two Louth hospitals – Louth County Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda – have almost 15,000 on their outpatient waiting list. The same two hospitals have 1,330 patients on their inpatient list.
“Behind these statistics are stories of real stress and hurt in people’s lives. This is nothing short of a scandal. It is a scandal compounded by the lack of accountability in government. It is a scandal made worse by Fianna Fáil’s propping up of this government and its health policies.
“The health service needs practical alternatives to the current mess. Sinn Féin has these alternatives. We have consistently called for an integrated hospital waiting list management system; based on a Portuguese model; which the Minister agreed to pilot.
“The government should introduce a single Integrated Hospital Waiting List System as a matter of urgency. Sláintecare has to be implemented in full and urgently. And we need to be working toward the early creation of an all-island public health service.
“Failure to adopt these proposals will sustain the perpetual health crisis this government is responsible for,” said Adams.