Private clinic referrals: 'My op is in a clinic in Westmeath ... how am I to get?'
A 59-year-old south Belfast man said: "I got a letter about two weeks ago stating that due to the length of the waiting lists I am going to be seen by a private clinic.
"It said the initial assessment will be done in Belfast and the procedure will be carried out at a clinic in Westmeath.
"I am waiting for a number of hospital appointments at the moment so I rang the number on the letter but the person I spoke to couldn't give me any more information about the procedure they are going to be doing on me.
"Then last week I got another letter telling me the same company will be doing another procedure, but I haven't been able to find out what that is either.
"So far, I haven't been given a date of any appointments but I'm not very happy about the way it has been handled so far.
"If I have to travel to get seen without having to wait months then I am willing to do so, but at least one of the procedures I am waiting for will mean I will be unable to drive afterwards.
"I have no idea how I am supposed to get to the clinic or get back, it's not as though there is a train from Belfast.
"There are bound to be plenty of other people being referred to this clinic and they might not have the same family support as me, so what happens to them?"