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Over 812,000 patients on national public hospital waiting lists at the end of December

DUBLIN: The long hospital waiting list is a shame for the whole country. Despite claims of a slight decrease, the number of people waiting for treatment in the country was more than 8,12,000 by the end of December, according to new figures.

Figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund reveal details about the number of patients waiting for treatment in the country. Despite spending millions of euros, it has been widely criticised for failing to produce the desired results. There were 831,765 patients on the waiting list at the end of 2021.

In a country with a population of 50 lakh, more than 5,84,600 patients are waiting to see a consultant. Last month, over 81,560 patients were waiting for hospital or day treatment appointments. For various reasons, 58,000 patients were removed from the waiting list in December.

According to the Department of Health, there are 29,800 (4%) fewer people than last year. The department adds that this “achievement” is less than the target. The accusation is that Ireland’s “long list of patients who do not receive treatment” is an endless shame for a country that claims to be developing.

The government allocated €350 million last year to reduce the waiting list. This amount was used to cut over 130,000 people’s wait times for acute care.

Dr. Matthew Sadlier, chairperson of the Irish Medical Organization’s consultant group, stated.

Many patients have yet to receive a date for surgery and outpatient clinics. The HSE has contacted each of them directly.

Need another reason for the health crisis…thousands of GP vacancies to fill.

Thousands of GP vacancies are at the root of Ireland’s health-care crisis. Ireland requires 6,000 general practitioners. There are currently 4000 general practitioners. In the next three years, 600 of them will retire. It is estimated that at least 2000 GP positions must be filled.

There is a shortage of GPs, so each GP does the work of one and a half. Each GP works more than 12 hours. 25 years ago, diabetes care was done by hospital specialists in hospitals. However, it is now primarily handled by community GPs and GP nurses. GPs must also care for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as angina, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stroke. There are a handful of jobs for each GP. The shortage of GP nurses is exacerbating the situation. According to ICGP director Dr. Diarmuid Quinlan, the GP nurse shortage should be read alongside the GP vacancy.

All childhood vaccines, as well as COVID and flu vaccines, are administered by GP nurses. If their positions are not filled, children’s vaccinations will be jeopardised.

“600 people will retire over the next three years.” The workload will rise. The population is growing. To resolve the crisis, a working group should be formed in January of this year, according to the ICGP director’s request to the health minister.

Thousands of newcomers to Ireland are having difficulty registering their names with any GP. These people are under a lot of pressure because they don’t see any other option.

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