Increased Staff Numbers at HSE contrasting with Unacceptable Waiting Lists for Patients

[Speaking in the Seanad during Order of Business]

I am proposing an amendment to the Order of Business. I want him [Minister for Health] to explain how it is that two days ago we saw statistics indicating that 50,000 people, approximately 1.25% of the entire population, were on waiting lists in the health service for more than one year. I have been back in Ireland for 21 very odd years. The reality is that this would not be considered even remotely acceptable anywhere else in the world, that people are on a waiting list for more than one year, yet we have people on waiting lists for two, three and four years for some services. In the past we highlighted problems with waiting lists to gain access to life-saving obesity services and surgery. There has been an increase of approximately one eighth in the number of grade A officials in the HSE in the past 12 months. While we are beginning to see some easing of the moratorium on hiring as nursing and physiotherapist numbers are down, we are still hiring more bureaucrats. That is the reason I ask the Minister to come to the House to deal with these issues this week.

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