TD Peter Fitzpatrick, has today (Tuesday) described the figures released by the Department of Health, which show a massive drop in waiting lists at Louth County Hospital, as significant progress in bringing the health service back from the crisis it was left in when this Government came to office.
“It is well known that during the celtic tiger when money was being thrown around left, right and centre, the health service was completely ignored by the Fianna Fáíl-led Government. So much so, that on taking office two years ago, the Minister for Health had to implement a radical plan of reform to bring the health service back from the brink of disaster.
“ In Louth County Hospital, there has been an 88 per cent reduction in people waiting more than three months for procedures between February 2011 and February 2013. For those waiting more than six months during the same period, there is a 76 per cent reduction and for those waiting more than nine months, there has been a 100 per cent decrease. This is a remarkable achievement for Louth County Hospital and its management team who have implemented the reforms required to improve our health service.
“Across the country, we are seeing the same results. Nationally, there are 35 hospitals with data available which shows that in February 2011, 1,925 patients were waiting longer than a year for inpatient or day case procedures. This figure dropped to 396 patients at the end of February 2013, a decrease of 79 per cent.
“Since the end of February 2011, waiting lists longer than a year for inpatient and day case procedures have been eliminated in 15 hospitals and waiting lists longer than 9 months for these procedures have been eliminated in 9 hospitals.