Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Health Simon Harris to convene an emergency meeting of all National Directors and Chief Officers of the HSE Directorate as well as representatives from the four Regional Health Forums following revelations which have emerged about how hospital waiting lists are complied. Deputy McGrath was speaking after an RTE Investigates programme showed the total number of people waiting on the inpatient/day case waiting list as published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) did not include any reference to at least 49,000 people on so called ‘pre-planned’ and ‘pre-admit’ waiting lists:
“I believe that the Minister ought to haul the HSE Directors before him and make it absolutely clear that unless this problem is addressed immediately then heads will have to roll.
People are sick and tired of the same old excuses being trotted out; the same failures being repeated and the same culture of spin and massaging of the figures being presented as fact.
The Minister has said that waiting lists under the management of the National Treatment Purchase Fund adhere to ‘international best practice’. Is he serious?
Is it really international best practice to manipulate data and hide the true extent of the chronic dysfunction with a Health System?
We know that in 2015 The European Health Consumer Index (EHCI) gave Ireland an overall ranking of 21st out of 35 countries which was a drop of 7 places since 2013.
That situation has only deteriorated in the last two years.
In light of that I can only say that there is a parasitic culture of the heart of the HSE which feeds off the hundreds of millions we pump into it each year with no obvious benefit for the patients.
The Minister must do more than express his shame and disappointment after last night’s programme. He must instead use his Ministerial authority to bring about the radical cultural change that the Irish health system urgently requires,” concluded Deputy McGrath.