25 May 2022

Longford-Westmeath TD calls for new centralised referrals system to tackle spiralling hospital waiting lists

Patients urged to consider options before attending Mullingar hospital emergency department

Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke has expressed her unease over lengthening hospital waiting lists at Mullingar's Midland Regional Hospital

Longford-Westmeath Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke has said a new centralised referral system and integrated waiting list management system is needed to deal with lengthening hospital waiting lists.


Ms Clarke put forward the recommendation after receiving current waiting lists for a physiotherapy outpatient appointments in Mullingar's Midland Regional Hospital exceeded 1,100. 

She added a further 73 women are still awaiting confirmation of when receive their pelvic health outpatient appointment, something the Sinn Féin TD took aim at.

"The human cost is very real and very urgent," she said.

 “Behind record waiting times are stories of pain, worsening conditions, delayed diagnosis and treatment, stress, and worry. 

“The hospital waiting list crisis can and must be fixed. 

“Waiting lists have spiralled out of control and now over 900,000 people are on a healthcare waiting list. There is hardly a family in the country which is not affected by this scandal. 

“Waiting lists in Midland Regional  Hospital Mullingar are up more than 13% since the beginning of the pandemic. 

“The health service is not fit for purpose and needs major investment to boost capacity if it is to tackle waiting lists. 

Ms Clarke voiced her frustration at the government inaction on hospital waiting lists 

“The Government must act now and sort out the management of waiting lists and introduce a new centralised referral systems and an integrated waiting list management system. 

“We also need delivery of a major increase in beds, staff, and diagnostic capacity to meet current needs and tackle waiting lists. 

“Care can’t wait and waiting lists are having a catastrophic impact on people who feel abandoned on them with little hope of getting the care to which they are entitled. 

 “They are also creating problems for people who are receiving a late diagnosis or who may have developed a condition but cannot find out due to diagnostic waiting lists. 

“The Minister must take charge of the waiting list crisis and deliver a capacity boost 

 “Sinn Féin in government would deliver a healthcare system which is fit to deliver the timely, high quality care that patients need. Change is possible and deliverable if the political will is there."

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