Thursday 23 October 2014

60,000 wait over a year for hospital appointment

The treatment of mentally ill patients has been criticised

OVER 60,000 people were waiting more than a year for an outpatient appointment at the end of November, new figures show.

That's despite a promise by Health Minister James Reilly that nobody would be on the list for more than 12 months by the end of 2013.

Figures also show that the target to have nobody on an in-patient list for hospital treatment over eight months was not met with just a few weeks to go to the end of the year.

The numbers on lists for more than four years went down from 7,695 in March to 968 in November.

The numbers on lists between three and four years during that time also dropped from 7,745 to 3,438 in that time.

It is unclear how many of these patients have been treated or had their names struck off the list. It emerged last year that patients risked being removed from waiting lists as hospitals have been ordered to implement a "one strike and you are out" policy to anyone who fails to keep their outpatient appointment.

Dr Shari McDaid, of Mental Health Reform, said people "want to be seen quickly, to be listened to and to be treated with respect".

Irish Independent

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