THERE HAS BEEN an increase the waiting times for children who need to have tests and treatment for heart conditions, at Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin.
Statistics from the National Treatment Purchase Fund reveal a 37% increase in waiting lists for open heart surgery at the children’s hospitable over the last year.
The average waiting time for a child to get an angiogram heart test has also jumped from three to six months.
The number of children awaiting medical, as opposed to surgical treatment has also increased in the last year: those waiting between six and 12 months for Crumlin increased from 46 to 53. In April of this year, 34 children have been waiting for surgical treatment for over 12 months.
Online medical magazine Irish Health reports that the NTPF and Crumlin clashed earlier in the year, when the NTPF claimed the hospital was not fully engaging with the it in order to clear waiting lists.
The NTPF said that if the hospital had cooperated, the it could have provided private treatment for many of the child patients on public waiting lists.
Meanwhile Crumlin Hospital says that the shortage of Intensive Care Unit facilities limits its abilities to to reduce waiting lists. The hospital has suffered bed and theatre cutbacks over the past year.
The daily “census” which records how many patients have been waiting for admission to a hospital ward each day at 2pm, shows that in 3% of cases patients wait more than 24 hours for a bed.
The figures also reveal that 39% of patients waited between 12 and 24 hours and 21% waited between six and 12 hours to be admitted.
Connolly Hospital is the only hospital in the country to have patients waiting more than 24 hours to be admitted to a ward after turning up at the emergency department.
Seven hospitals had patients waiting between six and 12 hours to be admitted, Roscommon Hospital, Our Lady’s in Navan, the Adelaide and Meath, the Mercy in Cork and Dublin’s Mater, Beaumont and Connolly hospitals.
The HSE maintains that “the vast majority of patients admitted from the Emergency Department do not wait for admission”. They say that 52% don’t wait at all for admission.
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