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Green Party rep Hannah McNamara warns of vicious cycle as waiting times escalate

Thursday February 22 2018

Green Party rep Hannah McNamara said government needs to start listening to the warnings following the publication of Department of Health figures showing that almost 30% of people are waiting more than a year for their first consultant appointment.

The Bangor East and Donaghadee rep, who has worked in NI Ambulance Service for five years, said: “Unfortunately, I am not surprised at these figures. We have been warning the government of the crisis within the NHS and time and time again and we are ignored.

“Waiting times create a vicious cycle within the health service and public life. Patients aren’t able to access appropriate care pathways, with almost 30% of people waiting over 1 year for their first consultant appointment when the target is 0.

“This means that over time, these patients symptoms worsen, they may have to take time off work, they may have to be treated at the Emergency Department or phone for an ambulance and they are put through unnecessary suffering.

“Elderly patients may require care packages because they can’t get appropriate treatment early on. If they were treated according to the target, the suffering would be reduced and the pressures on the health service would be reduced.

I don’t know what the wake-up call needs to be for the government. We have patients dying on trolleys in corridors and dying waiting on ambulances. We are crying out for change and the government need to start listening.”

 

ENDS

Media Contact: Linda Stewart

028 9052 1141
07594 391264
07761 254553

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