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Shame of our hospital waiting lists

THE latest Health Service Executive figures on waiting-lists are a shocking indictment of our crumbling health system.

The number of patients waiting to be seen at an outpatient clinic for the first time has almost doubled to 340,000, compared with figures released in April.

The figures relate to 37 hospitals and do not include all acute hospitals. The HSE admits that the total is higher, possibly around 360,000, according to Health Minister James Reilly.

Incredibly, over 16,000 patients have been waiting four years or more to be seen at a clinic. People will most likely die waiting to be seen.

The report also shows some hospitals in severe financial crisis.

A vast amount of the resources spent on the health service during the boom years has failed to sort out its problems. Now hospitals are in danger of running out of cash.

We are facing a major health crisis and major change must be made.