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People will die on waiting list - Kilcoyne

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LONG WAIT Figures released last week show that 12,461 people are awaiting outpatient appointments at Mayo University Hospital.

Latest figures show 12,461 awaiting outpatient appointments at MUH


Anton McNulty

THE lack of investment into expanding and developing Mayo University Hospital is a contributing factor in the high number of patients on the hospital waiting list.
That is the opinion of Castlebar-based councillor and member of the HSE Health Forum West, Michael Kilcoyne, who was commenting after it was revealed that 12,461 people are awaiting outpatient appointments in Mayo University Hospital (MUH).
“Some people will die on the waiting list, and that is because of neglect [of the hospital] from successive governments over the last 20 years,” Cllr Kilcoyne told The Mayo News.
“The Government took a decision to close Roscommon A&E and send down all the people here and didn’t increase the space or the staff. A blind man could have seen it would cause problems, and now they are saying it will be another three or four years before anything is done with the A&E.
“The waiting list is all related to the lack of space in the hospital. There are people in Roscommon waiting for surgeries to be done at Mayo University Hospital and no additional staff or accommodation. You cannot operate on people on the footpath, you have to have accommodation and facilities for them,” he said.

Pre-Covid problem
Last November, a meeting of the Health Forum West heard that 7,500 outpatients had been waiting for up to a year to see a consultant in Mayo University Hospital.
At the time Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operations Officer with the Saolta Group of hospitals, accepted that it would difficult to meet waiting list targets in light of Covid and the cyber-hacking event.
“We have a lot of work to do over the next period to actually try to get as much access as possible for our patients. The outpatient waiting list has been very significant for the last number of years and it is not just to do to Covid,” she said.

Resources needed
The next meeting of the HSE Health Forum West is scheduled to take place on Tuesday next, February 15. Cllr Kilcoyne has submitted a question on the number of people in Mayo who are on the waiting list for hip or knee replacements.
“Castlebar was supposed to be a centre of excellence for orthopaedics, but you cannot call a place a centre of excellence if there is a two- or three-year waiting list.
“The resources have not been put into the site. Asking questions in the Dáil is no use, you need to put down a motion calling for the Government to give funding to get it done,” he said.