THE SDLP’s Mark H Durkan has called for immediate action to tackle the waiting lists for joint replacement surgery in the North.
It comes after it was revealed 2,967 patients in the Western trust area were waiting an eye-watering average of 111.7 weeks – over two years – for surgery.
Said the Foyle MLA: “The SDLP has been clear that waiting lists for medical treatment across the North are a disgrace.
“As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic there needs to be a strategic plan devised to clear these waiting lists and significant investment in our health service to ensure that nobody has to wait such excruciating long times for treatment in future.
“We must also ensure that such levels of crisis are never reached again.
“In every trust patients are experiencing huge delays for joint replacement surgery.
“It will be of no surprise to the many patients waiting for surgery within the Western Trust, that it has the longest waits across the North at a staggering 111.7 weeks on average.
“We also have among the highest numbers of people on waiting lists.
“That’s almost 3,000 people here waiting more than two years to access treatment for painful and debilitating conditions – that should not be the norm.
“Across the rest of our trusts thousands are waiting well over a year.
“This just isn’t good enough.
“Anyone developing a joint problem that requires surgery in that area will now go to the back of a 3,000 people queue with a guaranteed wait of years.
“That isn’t the standard of healthcare we should be delivering to our citizens.
“We seem to be having this conversation around waiting lists on a loop.
“While I accept the pandemic has impacted the ability to deliver services our waiting lists were huge long before the coronavirus hit.
“I am calling on the Department of Finance to work in tandem with the Department of Health to put pressure on the British Government and find the funding needed so that everyone in the North can access treatment in a timely manner and not spend years languishing on waiting lists with their health condition impacting their quality of life.”Tags: