Laois TD Brian Stanley has called for urgent action to tackle the hospital waiting list in Laois.
According to the Sinn Fein deputy, the number of patients waiting for day procedures in Portlaoise Hospital are 555 while in Tullamore Hospital the figure is 995.
He says that action is needed now.
He said: “Patients are waiting longer than ever to receive care. Across the State the total number waiting for Day Procedures is at 80,283.
“National hospital waiting lists have reached a total of over 819,000 for the first time.
“While waiting lists were over 700,000 before Covid-19, it has contributed further to growing lists.
“Covid has exposed a healthcare system which does not have enough beds, consultants, nurses or other health professionals.
“The health service is at crisis point and it is not fit for purpose. With another winter emerging there will be further pressure on the already overstretched services. Action is needed now.’’
His party have put forward a plan that Deputy Stanley says will tackle the crisis.
He said: “Sinn Féin is proposing a fully costed €914m package, including one-off capital investment of €568m, to turn the tide in favour of patients and healthcare workers.
“This includes 600 more beds above the Government’s current plans, filling more than 600 consultant posts and hiring 4,000 additional hospital staff, and 430 critical care beds by 2025.
“This also includes €150m for theatre capacity expansion and equipment to deliver more treatment in public hospitals, and a fund of €100m for equipment upgrades and patient management and waiting list system modernisation.
“Everywhere we look in the health service, from waiting lists to Covid-19 to the cyber-attack, there is a fire to be put out and an emergency to be tackled. It is limping from crisis to crisis.
“We are also proposing a fund of €100m to upgrade the IT infrastructure for better patient and waiting list management. This would also include investment in IT equipment to deliver modern care in modern hospitals.
“We need an urgent plan to catch up on missed care, reduce waiting lists, and deliver a top class, universal public health service.
“We need a fresh start with a system which is fair for health workers, equitable for patients, efficient, and modern. Above all else, we need to tackle waiting lists now.”