Consultant crisis having a ‘serious effect’ on delivery of women’s healthcare – Irish Hospital Consultants Association

Consultant crisis having a ‘serious effect’ on delivery of women’s healthcare

  • 40% increase in number of women waiting to see a gynaecologist in five years
  • 28,417 women waiting to see a gynaecologist nationally, with 5,394 waiting more than 12 months

 Dr. Peter Boylan, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, “Unfilled specialist posts making it difficult for women to be seen in a timely fashion. Our waiting lists for outpatients are among the worst in the world…and that’s having a really serious effect on their [women’s ]health and well-being”.

The consultant retention and recruitment crisis is having a ‘serious effect’ on the delivery of healthcare to women across Ireland, according to the latest #CARECANTWAIT campaign video.

The video features Dr. Peter Boylan, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, who has been to the fore in the delivery of healthcare services for women in Ireland for several decades.

Currently there are 28,417 women waiting for an appointment with a gynaecologist across Ireland’s public hospitals, of these, 5,394 are waiting more than a year for an appointment.

Hospitals with longest wait times

Unsurprisingly, the hospitals with the longest wait times to see a gynaecologist are in Dublin, with 3,469 women waiting for the Rotunda Hospital, 3,148 in Tallaght Hospital and 2,099 for the Coombe Hospital.

Regionally, there are also significant numbers of women waiting for a gynaecological appointment.

Galway University Hospital has 1,898 women waiting, with 1,783 in Letterkenny General Hospital, 1,522 in Portlaoise Hospital and 1,468 in Limerick University Hospital.

In addition, almost one in five (5,394) women are waiting longer than 12 months to secure an appointment.

The number of women waiting to see a gynaecologist has increased by 40% over the last five years (since Dec. 2014). According to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association the consultant recruitment and retention crisis is a major factor in the growth in the numbers of women now waiting.

One-in-five or over 500 of all permanent consultant posts nationally are now empty or only temporarily filled, resulting in patients waiting long periods to access essential healthcare services.

According to the IHCA, the Government’s continued support for a failed policy, which is perpetuating the unique and extremely damaging salary cut imposed only on consultants appointed since 2012, is driving our much need specialists abroad, where they are highly sought after and valued.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform report published in the last week has confirmed that, as a result, new consultants are being paid up to 51% less than their colleagues despite having the same demanding responsibilities.

The IHCA said that it is time for the Government to restore pay parity for new consultant before it irreparably damages public hospital services and causes even longer delays in treating patients.

Commenting on the long wait times experienced by women waiting to see a gynaecologist, Dr. Boylan noted:

Our long wait times are making it difficult for women to be seen in a timely fashion, and that has the effect of making waiting lists unreasonably long. Our waiting times for outpatients are among the worst in the world…and that’s having a really serious effect on their [women’s] health and well-being”.

Public, patients and other stakeholders can follow the campaign and add their voices via Twitter by following #CareCantWait and through the IHCA website www.ihca.ie.

 Support the IHCA campaign at: #CARECANTWAIT.

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