Patients undergoing treatment referred back to waiting lists, says McConalogue

Fianna Fáil TD highlights case of young mother awaiting surgery

Some patients undergoing medical treatment were being referred back to waiting lists, Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has told the Dáil.

He said a HSE initiative was introduced at the end of 2013 for patients who had been on a waiting list for more than 12 months, whereby they were referred from public to private hospitals for outpatient consultant appointments and treatment.

“It has come to my attention in recent weeks that many of these patients have been told they will no longer be able to continue their treatment under their current consultants and that their files have to be returned in order that they can rejoin the ever-increasing outpatient waiting lists at their original hospitals,’’ Mr McConalogue said.

Mother’s story

The TD, who represents



North-East, described the situation of “Caroline’’, a young mother referred by her GP in January 2012 to

Letterkenny General Hospital

for an outpatient appointment with a consultant gynaecologist.

In January 2014, he said, Caroline was referred under the initiative to a private hospital for an appointment, which she attended in March.

The consultant diagnosed her as requiring surgery and she had been waiting for follow-up treatment.

Last week, he said, she received a letter saying the hospital had been instructed by Letterkenny General Hospital that her treatment could no longer continue because of financial constraints.

“The hospital apologised and stated it was completely out of its control. It stated that if she would like to continue her treatment there, she could do so privately and that it would provide a costing for it.’’

In response, Tánaiste Joan Burton said the Government was committed to reducing numbers on waiting lists for scheduled care.

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times