'Chronic' health service waiting times in Laois and Offaly raised in the Dáil
Speaking on a Sinn Féin Motion in the Dáil today, which called for the Government to urgently address the chronic waiting lists across the Health Service, Laois TD and future Laois/Offaly election candidate, Brian Stanley, said that: “Our Health Service needs radical and systematic reform.”
“The two-tier system, with private patients first and public patients left to wait, must end. This system was not an accident; it was overseen and shaped by successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments," Stanley continued.
“A constituent in Laois was contacted by the HSE this month. She was given a waiting time of a shocking 4-5 years for her child to see psychologist. The same time frame was in Offaly. For an assessment of need there was a 1-3 year waiting time. They were told that there was an “extreme staff shortage across Laois and Offaly," Brian explained.
“Almost 2,000 children are on a waiting list for occupational therapy in Laois and Offaly, over 1,000 children waiting over a 12 months. For physiotherapy there are almost 400 children waiting. This is just to mention two waiting lists among many."
"Instead of increasing facilities in Laois and Offaly, where we have a growing population, you are instead cutting services. We need the retention of Portlaoise Hospital and it needs to expand with more beds and more staff. In total there are 436 people on a waiting list at Portlaoise Hospital and 1,918 waiting in Tullamore," Stanley fumed.
“We need renovation and expansion at Mountmellick and Abbeyleix Hospitals to be used as step down and step up facilities and care of the elderly."
“The problems of the health service will take time to solve but nothing will happen if you do not begin the process. The Minister and this government need to implement the Sláintecare Plan and create a proper Public Health System in this State.”