Pretending Patients Do Not Exist Is Ploy To Reduce Waiting Lists – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has supported criticism levelled at the HSE by The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) following its latest attempt to reduce the number of patients on waiting lists. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the NAGP labelled the decision to potentially remove thousands of people from inpatient and outpatient waiting lists as a national disgrace:

“The HSE claims that its overall aim is  to safely  reduce  the  number  of  patients  waiting  more  than  15  months  to  access  outpatient  services, while at  the same  time,  not  compromising  the  ability  of  urgent  and  semi-urgent  patients  to  access services.

However these latest actions whereby significant numbers of people are being unjustifiably removed from the lists are outrageous and are no way to achieve those aims.

What the HSE are attempting to do here is to blame the patient and absolve itself of any responsibility for chronic waiting lists.

No consideration appears to have been given to the multitude of reasons why people may not have responded to letters requesting them to confirm they still wanted an appointment.

Many of the persons who contacted my office have been on the lists for years and now find that they are right back to the end of the line.

What is truly galling about this latest cruel manoeuvre by the HSE top brass is that the ‘punishment’ in no way fits the ‘crime’ of not replying to a letter that the person may or may not have been received in time.

To arbitrarily remove thousands of people from waiting lists in this way is an example of HSE management using blunt force when discretion and flexibility were required.

Ultimately it is up to Minister Harris to intervene in this mess and to instruct the HSE to place an immediate freeze on any decision to remove such large numbers of patients from either the inpatient or outpatient lists,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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