Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the inability of the HSE to deliver basic surgeries like tonsillectomies within an adequate waiting time period points to ongoing dysfunction within the health system. Deputy McGrath was speaking after figures released by the Department of Health revealed that Waiting Times for Tonsils Treatment in North Tipperary is the fifth highest in the state, with an average waiting period of 243 days. The average waiting period in Tipperary South was shown to be 180 days:
“What is deeply frustrating for parents of children who require surgery for tonsils is the awareness that it is really a very minor procedure these days.
These kinds of surgeries are also what the HSE term ‘High-Volume Procedures’ meaning that there is capacity to get through a significant number of the surgeries within a short period of time.
Yet despite this, we see children and indeed adults waiting about 8 months in North Tipperary before they can get treatment.
This again points to the utter inability of the Minister for Health and the HSE to provide for basic services and simple procedures.
The Minister says that the joint Department of Health/HSE/National Treatment Purchase Fund Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 is “projected to be in a position to offer treatment to all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months for one of these procedures.”
We all know how reliable HSE projections are.
What is even more concerning however is that if the Minister and the HSE cannot get basic operations like Tonsils right then how we can expect them to drastically reduce waiting times for more serious and life changing procedures like Scoliosis.
As I understand it, Minister Harris, who said no child would have to wait more than four months for surgery by the end of 2017, is today presiding over waiting times that show 159 children are currently waiting for scoliosis surgery with 27 per cent on the list for more than eight months.
If he cannot get the basics right, and he cannot get the complex procedures right, then what good is he and why do Fianna Fail insist he remain in office?” concluded Deputy McGrath.