Councillor Tomá Sharkey has hit out at the HSE for asking the public and not their GPs if t hey want to remain on hospital waiting lists this week.
“Thousands of people across Louth are receiving phone calls from the HSE about hospital waiting lists. The public are being asked by HSE staff if they still want to remain on the waiting lists. from the calls I am receiving, it looks like the ENT (Ear Nose Throat) list is being used in this exercise.
“I believe that a phonecall to patients out of the blue asking if they still want an appointment is a ridiculous and medically unsound way of administering a hospital waiting list. A patient is referred to the ENT specialist in a hospital when their GP has a concern about their health and wants an expert to see the patient.
“I am asking that the HSE stop this practice and divert their resources into actually seeing and treating patients. I am worried that a patient may be contacted at the wrong time and agree to be removed from the list even though their medical issue is a serious and life threatening one. Lets be clear about this; If your GP is of the opinion that you need to see an ENT specialist then you shouldnt be asked to overrule their medical opinion.
“This is a cynical attempt by HSE management and the government leaders of the health service to show waiting lists getting smaller but without actually seeing or treating the patients. “