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18,000 waiting for hip op assessment
[Posted: Thu 26/10/2006 www.irishhealth.com]
Almost 18,000 people nationwide are waiting to be assessed for hip replacement operations, new figures have shown.
The HSE revealed the figures in response to a parliamentary question asked by Fine Gael. The figures show that as of July 2006, around 18,000 people were waiting for consultations with an orthopaedic surgeon to determine whether they required the operation.
According to Fine Gael's health spokesperson, Dr Liam Twomey, this issue must be dealt with urgently, as many of these patients 'suffer distressing and painful symptoms'.
"Hip replacement can greatly improve quality of life, but it is not possible to determine whether someone is suitable for the surgery until they have had an initial consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon. It is deeply disturbing to receive confirmation that thousands of patients, who are almost certainly elderly, are on waiting lists to see consultants for assessment", Dr Twomey said.
A breakdown of the figures show that the problem is more acute in the south east of the country, where 4,338 people were waiting for assessment as of July, 2006. This was followed by the west (3,252) and the north west (3,083).
The shortest waiting list was in the south west, where 345 people were awaiting assessment.
Referring specifically to the south east, Dr Twomey pointed out that while this area represents just 10% of the country's population, patients there make up almost 25% of the waiting list. This, he said, is leading to waiting times of three to five years.
"The fact that 18,000 people are waiting for appointments for hip replacement assessments suggests that there is a shortage of orthopaedic consultants and a lack of theatre space. I am calling on the Health Minister to conduct a full review of the current circumstances in order to assess what is causing this extreme bottleneck and to take appropriate steps to alleviate the pressure", he added.
|Auditor Posted: 26/10/2006 16:46|
|How many of these patients are private patients? very few I would wager. Also how many private hip operations were carried out in public hospitals as a % of the overall total. I would further wager that it is far more than the 20% quota permitted in the consultants common contract. Thus public patients wait I assume while consultants use their beds for private patients on taxpayers resources. The only consolation is that they may eventually see the consultant if he gets paid on the double by the NTPF to provide the treatment privately. I do feel the Minister is trying to deal with the problem more than any of her predecessors and wish her the best of luck.|
|Rose Posted: 14/12/2007 17:11|
|It's the private patients who are paying double, they are taxpayers and also pay private health insurance. Why should they not be entitled to use what their taxes have provided? Everyone is left waiting to see an Orthopaedic Consultant, I know of a case where it took months to see the consultant and then they surgery was scheduled for nearly 5 months from the date of the consultation and who knows for sure if it will go ahead as scheduled. Its a scandal that anyone is left in pain and incapacitated. Where has all the tax revenue from the celtic tiger gone.|
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