Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Mayo Cllr Lisa Chambers says the cancellation of all elective surgery at Mayo General Hospital this week will have major knock-on effects on patient waiting times. Hospital management were forced to cancel procedures due to the increase in the number of people on trolleys in the emergency department.
Cllr Chambers, who is a member of the Regional Health Forum, explained: “This is not the first time that managers have had to cancel operations at Mayo General Hospital, nor will it be the last. Chronic overcrowding has led to procedures being delayed at hospitals across the country and now Mayo has been hit again."
Chambers went on to criticise the Government's running of the health service, saying: “The continued deterioration of a functioning health service at the hands of Fine Gael and Labour has led to a chaotic and unstable system, which is buckling under the pressure. Successive Fine Gael health ministers have failed to get to grips with the overcrowding crisis which is now impacting on other hospital departments and patient services. Leo Varadkar’s ploy of moving the goalposts on waiting times targets has been nothing more than a PR exercise, aimed at boosting the Minister’s ego. However the Minister is now struggling to meet these new extended targets."
Cllr Chambers continued: “As Minister Varadkar toys around with waiting times, patients are paying the price. Patients who had been due to have surgery this week could now be waiting months before their procedures are performed. This is a major inconvenience for them as many would have made alternative plans and arrangements to accommodate their surgery. Having to wait until later in the year for their procedure could also increase anxiety levels, not to mention having an impact on their health as they will have to wait for longer to have their condition treated.
“This decision to cancel operations is a reflection of the dire straits that the health system is in. Mayo General Hospital has lost a raft of services over the past five years and is still unable to cope with the pressure it is under. This is no longer acceptable. This arrogant Government has wasted the last five years promising compulsory health insurance only to abandon it at the last moment. It now has no plan for our health service. People in Mayo, and right across the country, deserve better. Fianna Fáil put forward tangible plans to tackle the problems in health last year and will be outlining its vision for a better healthcare system in our General Election manifesto in the weeks ahead,” she concluded.