October 4, 2023

‘Crisis point’ – anger as waiting lists at Kilkenny hospital soar

Kilkenny’s main hospital badly needs new investment as waiting lists soar to over 20% on the same period last year, according to a local TD.

Carlow-Kilkenny Deputy Kathleen Funchion said local patients “are waiting longer than ever” to receive care and that our ailing health service is now at “crisis point”.

The local Sinn Féin deputy spoke out as her party launched its ‘Tackling Waiting Lists’ plan.

Ms Funchion said her party’s €913 million proposals are needed “in the face of a tsunami of delayed and missed care which is barrelling down on the health service”.

Deputy Funchion said St Luke’s Hospital, in particular, needs the investment “as 893 people remain on lists with more than 21% increase from 2020”.

She added: “Patients are waiting longer than ever to receive care. The health service is at crisis point and it is not fit for purpose. Action is needed now.

“Sinn Féin is proposing a fully costed €914 million package, including one-off capital investment of €568 million, to turn the tide in favour of patients and healthcare workers.

“This includes 600 more beds above the Government’s current plans, filling more than 600 consultant posts and hiring 4,000 additional hospital staff, and 430 critical care beds by 2025.

“This also includes €150m for theatre capacity expansion and equipment to deliver more treatment in public hospitals, and a fund of €100m for equipment upgrades and patient management and waiting list system modernisation.”

The Carlow-Kilkenny TD said the country’s health service is “limping from crisis to crisis”.

Deputy Funchion noted: “Everywhere we look in the health service, from waiting lists to Covid-19 to the cyber-attack, there is a fire to be put out and an emergency to be tackled.”

And she added: “We need an urgent plan to catch up on missed care, reduce waiting lists, and deliver a top class, universal public health service.

“We need fresh start with a system which is fair for workers, equitable for patients, efficient, and modern.
“Above all else, we need a political class and a Government with the will to tackle waiting lists.”

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