437 Tipp People On Outpatient List For 18 Months In TUH

585

A total of 437 people are on an outpatient list at Tipperary University Hospital for 18 months or more.

The South/South West Group – which includes TUH have a waiting list for hospital treatment of 148,000 people.

The statistic show there’s been an almost doubling of people on the waiting list in seven years.

Almost 133,000 people are waiting to be assessed by a hospital Consultant in the region.

The specialties of Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, ENT, Pain Relief, Dermatology and Neurosurgery have some of the largest number of people for assessment by a Consultant.

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) is warning that failure to ensure competitiveness in recruiting and retaining consultants and to appoint a replacement Independent Chair for stalled contract talks is hampering recruitment efforts in the South/South-West region and restricting patients from accessing essential timely, high-quality medical and surgical care.

Commenting, IHCA President Professor Alan Irvine, said: “The severe shortage of hospital Consultants in our public health service in Cork and the southern region is the main contributor to the unacceptable delays in providing care to patients. 
 
“We have a chronic recruitment and retention crisis with 1 in 5 permanent hospital Consultant posts not filled as need – that’s 838 Consultant posts nationally either vacant or filled on a temporary or agency basis. 
 
“This has led to a situation where we have almost 900,000 people on hospital waiting lists – over 148,000 of these people in the South/South-West. 
 
“The revelation by Secretary General Robert Watt last week that the Department may not appoint a new Independent Chair for hospital Consultant contract talks is another significant blow to the process and to tackling the growing vacancy rates and hospital waiting lists.

“The appointment of an Independent Chair by the Minister of Health was agreed when the talks commenced in July 2021. Appointing a replacement was then recommended by the outgoing Chair and has been needed since December last – with no progress made despite repeated calls from Consultant representative bodies.

“Reneging on this agreement at this point will only serve to further undermine any remaining fragments of trust between health service management and healthcare professionals, and will not create the necessary environment for the consideration of any new offer to be proposed by Government.  

“Without open, genuine discussions and agreement with hospital Consultant representatives on the requirements for an attractive Consultants’ Contract to be offered in future, we will not be able to stem the exodus of highly trained medical and surgical specialists abroad, leaving public hospital patients without access to the care they need and deserve.”