Dáil debates

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Hospital Waiting Lists: Motion [Private Members]


8:45 pm

Photo of Richard O'DonoghueRichard O'Donoghue (Limerick County, Independent) | Oireachtas source

Children with minor ailments on waiting lists do not get an early diagnosis, which has lifelong consequences. The development test for babies is missing disabilities. I am talking about basic speech therapy and about eye, ear and mobility issues. Some 106,000 children are awaiting tests in the public system. Some 8,000 are awaiting ultrasounds and CT scans while 2,700 children and young people are on waiting lists for children's mental health services. This is very well documented.

I can list problems in the health service. The Minister inherited many of them. People can say that certain things are the problems. The first day I spoke in the Dáil, I gave the Government a solution but not one of its members listened to it. If they go back on the recording, they will see that on my first day in the Dáil, I told the Government that it needed a management system within the hospitals. This is the Government's solution. Does the Minister know if there is a roster in the public hospitals for the senior doctors? Does he know if there is a roster for the senior consultants? From what I know, nobody in management knows who is on and who is off. The health service is not a Monday to Friday operation. After 5 p.m. on a Friday, you cannot get a consultant. There is then a waiting list come Monday morning. The private hospitals in this country have got it right. They have management systems because they know that, if they do not get it right, it will not work and their hospital will fall. Public hospitals need a management system for doctors and consultants. Our front-line staff are there seven days a week, morning, noon and night but there is no roster system for our consultants and doctors. We need to fix that.


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