More than 7,600 appointments cancelled in both CUH and UHL this year

Just under 14,000 appointments have been cancelled in the Mater Hospital in Dublin.
More than 7,600 appointments cancelled in both CUH and UHL this year

Donegal GP Ciarán Ó Fearraigh says hospitals are struggling to cope with demand. Picture: Dan Linehan

Almost 110,000 hospital appointments have been cancelled so far this year.

According to Freedom of Information figures, the cancellations include nearly 14,000 at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. Other hospitals with large numbers of cancellations include Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Limerick, which both saw more than 7,600 appointments cancelled.

The HSE says there are several reasons why hospital inpatient and outpatient appointments are cancelled.

They could be called off by a consultant or patient, or because there is no bed available.

Many appointments were cancelled due to industrial action, storms, or a cyber-attack — while thousands did not go ahead earlier this year due to a surge in Covid-19.

In total, just over 6,000 inpatient admissions have been cancelled this year and nearly 104,000 outpatient appointments, according to the figures released to Newstalk.

Struggling with demand

Donegal GP Ciarán Ó Fearraigh says hospitals are struggling to cope with demand.

"We saw recently here in Letterkenny where I am, inpatient procedures having to be cancelled because of congestion in emergency departments," said Dr Ó Fearraigh.

"I suspect that is something that we are going to see more and more of over the winter. The capacity of the health service then also starts to contribute to these problems."

He said that the situation is frustrating and disappointing for patients who have often been waiting months or years for their outpatient appointments and planned procedures.

"I have seen patients where they have been cancelled not once but numerous times because they get put on to next week's list and that again gets cancelled because of pressures within the hospital system.

"People can be left very despondent and frustrated by repeated cancellations."

Just under 14,000 appointments have been cancelled in the Mater Hospital in Dublin this year.

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