Over 20,000 people are currently awaiting respiratory outpatient appointments, with over a quarter of those already waiting more than eighteen months at a time when “air quality” are the ‘buzzwords’ being used by Government, Denis Naughten has highlighted.
Figures provided to Denis Naughten by the HSE show that 20,632 adults and children are currently on waiting lists for respiratory appointments and 5,771 of those have been waiting more than eighteen months. It was also confirmed to Denis Naughten that the HSE is not using the National Treatment Purchase Fund to address these waiting lists.
“When we are dealing with the effects of long Covid, why are we seeing huge increases in the waiting time for respiratory outpatient appointments? And why is the health service not using the National Treatment Purchase Fund to address these waiting times?
“When we are talking about air quality and the resulting respiratory problems and the ongoing effects of long Covid, why are we not getting serious about tackling the problem and using the NTPF to address this waiting list?”
Denis Naughten raised the issue in the Dáil with Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan, who admitted he did not know whether the rising numbers awaiting respiratory appointments reflected the impact of long Covid.