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“Ireland Records Over 250,000 Patient Appointment Cancellations in Past Year!”

Dublin: It’s estimated that approximately 250,000 medical appointments, including those crucial for children battling cancer, had to be cancelled last year due to a severe shortage of staff and beds in hospitals. This includes a staggering 800 chemotherapy appointments for paediatric patients, marking a record high in the country’s history of emergency service cancellations. These alarming statistics underscore the profound crisis gripping Ireland’s healthcare sector.

Opposition leader Mary Lou McDonald has called for urgent intervention from the Prime Minister to address this pressing issue by ensuring the provision of adequate staff, beds, and essential facilities. The shortage is so acute that an estimated 3,000 hospital and community beds are required to alleviate overcrowding, reaching a critical point where even the treatment of children with cancer faces disruption.

Efforts must be intensified to alleviate hospital congestion and reassure patients’ families. However, instead of addressing the issue head-on, Mary Lou has accused the Prime Minister of attempting to deflect attention away from the problem.

In response, Prime Minister Simon Harris has rebuked the opposition leader and her party, alleging that they are disseminating misleading and exaggerated figures. The Health Service Executive (HSE) has clarified that comparisons with previous years are not entirely appropriate and maintains transparency by providing relevant information on its website. Additionally, the Prime Minister highlights that over 28,000 additional staff have been recruited since 2020, despite claims of understaffing. Moreover, funding has been allocated to hire an additional 2,200 staff this year.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister emphasises positive strides in healthcare, citing a decrease in cancer mortality rates below the European average, with rates as low as 14 percent for men and 13 percent for women. Initiatives such as the ongoing plan to eradicate cervical cancer are underway, with a call for opposition support in promoting measures like the HPV vaccine.

With a vision to eradicate cancer by 2040, the Prime Minister pledges to introduce a comprehensive plan this year, demonstrating commitment to tackling long-term health challenges while refuting claims of neglect or mismanagement in the healthcare system.

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