Belfast Telegraph

Thousands waiting more than a year for medical appointments – Fianna Fail

Substantial numbers were awaiting ophthalmology, dietitian, audiology and physiotherapy meetings, the party said.

Thousands of patients are waiting more than a year for vital medical appointments in Ireland, Fianna Fail said (Niall Carson/PA)
Thousands of patients are waiting more than a year for vital medical appointments in Ireland, Fianna Fail said (Niall Carson/PA)

Thousands of patients are waiting more than a year for vital medical appointments in Ireland, Fianna Fail has said.

Substantial numbers were awaiting ophthalmology, dietitian, audiology and physiotherapy meetings, according to statistics produced by the party.

Spokesman on primary care John Brassil said 127,000 people were on eight waiting lists in primary care, more than 18,000 for more than a year.

He said: “The biggest of the waiting lists is in physiotherapy with 37,392 waiting for an assessment.”

He said 2,200 of those were on the list for more than a year.

“Research has shown time and again that waiting so long for treatment could well increase the risk of long-term disability,” he added.

He said the Government had promised a decisive shift to primary care three years ago.

“However just 4.5 million euros was being allocated for new developments in primary care in the 2019 HSE Service Plan,” he said.

“That amounts to an increase of 0.5% – and was entirely for termination of pregnancy services.

“Indeed, on a like-for-like basis, as a share of the HSE budget, expenditure on primary care is falling from 6.9% to 6.6%.

“This will make it much harder to address the long waiting times that have become common place for community health services.”

PA

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