The amount of money lost through missed hospital appointments is “unacceptably high”, according to a Londonderry SDLP councillor.
Local party health spokesman Mark H Durkan has suggested a cost analysis needs to be undertaken after the latest Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety figures for 2008/2009 hospital statistics were published.
They showed 10% of scheduled out-patient appointments were not attended by the patient, with a further 10% cancelled by the hospital.
“These figures show unacceptably high levels of missed appointments,” he said.
“This equates to a combined fifth of all appointments being missed.
“I believe we must conduct an analysis of the cost these missed appointments are having on the health service.
“The system could be made easier, both in planning appointments and in facilitating these appointments.”
He added: “Some people take the health service for granted and in doing so cost it money |by missing appointments regularly.”