Action needed to restore trust of patients in waiting list system
Labour Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD, has said action is needed to ensure best practice is observed in the management of hospital waiting lists to restore the trust of patients in the system that medical need will be prioritised.
It follows an audit by the National Treatment Purchase Fund that identified long delays in the listing of patients.
Deputy Kelly said:
“This audit has highlighted real issues with the way waiting lists are managed in our hospitals, and indeed reported. The real life impact this has on patients waiting for treatment should not be underestimated.
“It is simply unacceptable to have excessive delays, in one case of more than 240 days, between when a case is listed and when it actually goes on the waiting list.
“I am also concerned that some patients bypassed the standard outpatient service and were directly listed by a consultant, which the audit said led to ‘inequity of treatment’ for patients.
“P atients must be prioritised on the basis of clinical need and the HSE now needs to completely re-evaluate how patients are being assessed.
“In an equitable health service, it is vital that there are clear procedures in place for placing patients on a waiting list.
“The HSE needs to ensure best practice is observed in both the management and reporting of hospital waiting lists.”