Public patients are the ones suffering most as waiting list figures continue to be manipulated
We are still in the midst of another winter trolley crisis in our hospitals - but behind the scenes and the frontline, the quiet suffering of more than 500,000 on public waiting lists has endured.
New "official" waiting list figures for January to be published tomorrow will show how the pressure on beds and the widespread cancellation of surgery in the last month has pushed the number of patients in the queue beyond 537,000 on a list at the end of the year.
We have always known that waiting list figures are massaged or at worst manipulated as part of damage limitation. Excluded are patients who have been given appointments but not necessarily treated.