Real and growing fear among people over access to healthcare, IMO says

Real and growing fear among people over access to healthcare, IMO says

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) says there is a growing fear among Irish people about accessing healthcare in Ireland.

It comes as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar disputes recent waiting list figures, saying there is a lot of "double counting" going on.

The latest stats from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show that 718,000 people are awaiting treatment.

The IMO says patients and their relatives are worried as GPs are finding it challenging to get appropriate services for their patients and hospital doctors are concerned about their ability to provide timely care.

The group is holding a conference in Dublin today against a backdrop of the record high figures.

However, Mr Varadkar claims waiting lists are heading in the right direction and yesterday disputed some of the figures being circulated.

"There aren’t one million out of 2.4 million people on waiting lists, there aren't even that many people sick, never mind on waiting lists," he said.

"So when you see those figures, they include people who have an appointment already and are waiting to come in. They include people who are suspended from waiting lists."

IMO President Dr Peadar Gilligan says today's conference will address doctors concerns about waiting and overcrowding in A&E.

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