Hospital targets not being met

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted the Government is failing to meet hospital targets, after it emerged almost 2,000 children had been waiting more than 20 weeks for vital in-patient medical help.

Mr Kenny was speaking just days after a damning HSE report found 371,000 people were now waiting on some kind of hospital queue for care — up from 300,000 at the start of the year.

Responding to the concerns during Leaders Questions yesterday, Mr Kenny said the Government “cannot be happy” with its attempts to tackle the long-standing crisis.

However, while accepting almost 2,000 children had been waiting for in-patient care for more than 20 weeks and 10,000 adults had been waiting longer than eight months for in-patient operations, he said “it does mean that four-out-of-five people [on in-patient lists] were receiving treatment within target time”. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had earlier warned the situation tells a “very different story” to what was promised.

“Some 37% of children are waiting longer than the target the Government said. The real reason for this is that you starved health last year and you brought in a false budget,” he said, adding “a lot of porkies were told” in relation to the 2014 health budget.

The HSE’s service plan for next year will be published tomorrow. Among the key issue will be waiting list difficulties, how the medical card reforms will be funded and an expected €510m budget overrun for this year.


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