December 4, 2023

Covid not to blame for soaring waiting lists at Kilkenny Hospital, says TD

Soaring waiting lists at Kilkenny’s main hospital is not a result of Covid-19, a local TD has said.

Deputy Kathleen Funchion criticised Taoiseach Micheál Martin for suggesting the pandemic is to blame for spiralling hospital waiting lists.

Examining figures for waiting lists locally and nationwide, the local Sinn Féin TD argues the major rise in waiting times came before Covid-19 hit. And she blamed the rise on “a failed approach in health that over relies on private medicine”.

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD said: “The Taoiseach is fundamentally wrong to say that spiralling wait times are down to Covid-19.

“The major increase from 385,781 in December 2014 to 556,770 in January 2020 cannot be blamed on the pandemic.

“St Luke’s Hospital which services Carlow and Kilkenny has seen its waiting lists increase by 21% since 2017 to just under 900 now waiting for an appointment.”

Deputy Funchion (pictured below) warned the “real effect of Covid” has yet to be felt from a major drop in referrals and other factors related to the pandemic.

She added: “As normality resumes, we will see a tsunami of missed care swell waiting lists further as hospitals are already at capacity.

“I cannot see how this Government will fix the problem if they don’t understand it.”

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