10 May 2023

~2 minutes read

Warning “unmanageable” waiting lists in West putting public health at serious risk

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Warning “unmanageable” waiting lists in West putting public health at serious risk

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Public hospitals in the West and North-West have “unmanageable” waiting lists and patient health is being put at risk.

That’s according to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, which says over 131 thousand people in the region are waiting for care.

A new report from the IHCA lays bare the crisis at public hospitals in Galway and further afield in the West/North-West Region.

At the end of March, almost 132 thousand people were waiting for an outpatient appointment, day case treatment or procedure across the six hospitals that make up the Saolta Hospital Group.

It includes UHG, Merlin Park and Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe.

Waiting lists have increased by 3,400 since the start of the year, and by almost 40 thousand since 2015.

The IHCA says this is because the shortage of beds is so severe that acutely ill patients are admitted, and essential surgical and other care is being cancelled.

Over the past three years, just 69 new inpatient beds have been opened, including 13 beds at UHG, with the rest in Mayo and Letterkenny University Hospitals.

The IHCA is demanding that Government immediately fund and timetable plans to expand hospital capacity, and consultant staffing, in the region.

Until then, it argues, unmanageable waiting lists will continue to grow and severely impact on health outcomes for vulnerable patients.

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