"Pain Relief Delays are Outrageous and Unjust” – Tóibín
Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD has hit out against the unacceptable waiting times for pain relief for patients. Teachta Tóibín, through a Parliamentary Question, obtained figures from the Minister for Health that show the appalling reality for patients awaiting pain relief.
Teachta Tóibín’s Parliamentary Question forced Minister Harris to reveal that the average waiting time for pain relief for outpatients is 333 days. The longest waiting time for an outpatient seeking pain relief is 3,641 days, or 9.5 years.
For inpatients and day case patients, the average waiting time is 204 days. The longest waiting time for an inpatient seeking pain relief is 1,149 days, or over 3 years.
Teachta Tóibín stated:
"The revelation that patients are close to a year on waiting lists, on average, for pain relief represents the tremendous heartlessness and incompetence at the centre of the health service. The absence of any real effort to improve the lives of our society’s weakest and most vulnerable through the efficient administration of pain relief is detrimental to the wellbeing of patients. The needless anguish caused to them and their suffering families must be ended. Minister Harris must take full responsibility for overseeing a system that is recognised to be perpetually lurching from crisis to crisis.
The cruel and grossly inefficient administration of pain relief to the sick and vulnerable is another cause for deep concern as crises continue to consume the health service. From A&E overcrowding and waiting lists for operations to the cervical vaccines scandal and unsupported hospital staff, the state's failing healthcare system is not recognisable as a healthcare system for the developed world.
The unacceptable waiting times for pain relief for patients is yet another indictment of Minister Harris and his shambolic mismanagement of the health of the Irish people. It is an injustice to patients their families."