‘On average, one operation a day is being carried out. I am struggling to get my head around these figures’

Waiting lists: University Hospital Kerry

AS nurses take to the picket lines for the third day of their escalating strike action, the spotlight has again turned to the festering problem of unacceptably long waiting list for procedures – particularly orthopaedic surgery – at University Hospital Kerry.

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae has complained that just 38 orthopaedic operations were carried out there in November and December and he said he is inundated with calls from people waiting up to two or three years to have hop or knee replacements carried out.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae: Bus organised

“This means, on average, one operation a day is being carried out. I am struggling to get my head around these figures,” he said, adding that the Minister for Health confirmed the numbers to him.

“As we all know no orthopaedic operations were carried out in the hospital from June 2018 to October 2018 and yet the way they are clearing this backlog is by carrying out 38 operations in two months. This baffles me.

“How are they supposed to clear the current waiting list for people if this is the level they are carrying out the operations there?” Deputy Healy-Rae asked.

He has organised another bus to transfer Kerry patients awaiting hip or knee replacements to Belfast this Friday and, following consultations, they can expect to receive a date for their surgery in March.

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