Hundreds of operations cancelled in worsening North West health crisis

‘Major problems in health service being stored up for the winter months’, says Senator

Sligo News File Online

Senator Marc MacSharry, Fianna Fail
Senator Marc MacSharry,
Fianna Fail

Fianna Fáil Sligo-Leitrim Senator Marc Mac Sharry has said he is extremely concerned at the number of operations which have been cancelled in hospitals in the North West in the first six months of the year.

Figures released to Fianna Fáil reveal that there were 143 inpatient operations and 157 day case procedures cancelled at Sligo Regional and Letterkenny General Hospital between January and June this year.

Describing the figures as “very worrying,” Senator MacSharry said it was unacceptable that more than 300 people have had their surgical procedures cancelled.

He said;

“Every time an operation is scheduled for a patient they have to plan getting into hospital, make arrangements with relatives perhaps to care for others and plan for post-operative circumstances.  It’s a big ordeal for many people going into hospital so it naturally causes huge frustration and anxiety when operations and procedures are cancelled.

“The hospital system is clearly creaking under the pressure, we know that another massive budget overrun to the tune of €500m is expected for this year and there are major problems in the health service being stored up for the winter months.  Continuing a clear pattern under this government the Minister for Health has failed to produce a credible health budget that can be managed through the year.  Every year for the last five years we have a seen an unrealistic health budget produced that runs into trouble half-way through the year, services are curtailed and operations are cancelled to save money.  This pattern cannot continue.

“The scale of cancelled operations in the North West also points out the pressure staff and management at these hospitals are under.  They are working in extremely difficult conditions but unfortunately there is no sign that this is likely to change anytime soon.  As waiting lists continue to grow and operations keep getting cancelled the circumstances for staff and patients alike are increasingly difficult.  The Government needs to set out how it can clearly and credibly bring waiting lists down, ensure scheduled operations go ahead to minimise patient disruption.”