NAGP says current HSE waiting list validation system a disgrace

The National Association of General Practitioners believes that the HSE validation of national waiting lists in its current guise is a national disgrace.

Unless urgent action is taken by the Minster for Health, Simon Harris, this will be the next inevitable scandal of our health service.

Latest figures for June show that the numbers waiting continue to break records, with over 700,000 people waiting for treatment, or to be seen at an outpatient clinic.

Today the NAGP National Council met to discuss the validation of waiting lists, as our members have reported a dramatic and significant increase in the number of letters from the HSE seeking validation that patients still need to be on a list.

Some GP Practice’s have received 100 such letters this week alone.

The NAGP believes this is a cynical political ploy to manipulate waiting lists and make them appear smaller.

This process in its current guise disproportionally affects the frail, the vulnerable, people who have trouble reading, the homeless, the elderly and minority communities.

Today the NAGP has called on the Minister for Health to end the current process of validating waiting lists, where patients have not yet been seen and are waiting for care.

There is no logical reason for this form of validation and indeed it creates more barriers and bureaucracy, in terms of access to care for the most vulnerable in society.

We want immediate reform of the validation process.

We believe the HSE should directly contact patients and that if a patient fails to attend three appointments at a hospital, they would then be removed from the list and be so notified.

NAGP President, Dr Maitiu O’Tuathail said:

“This is a national crisis and a disgrace and I am calling on Minister Simon Harris to end this cynical politically motivated manipulation of waiting lists. It is targeting the most vulnerable in our society and is harming patients. GPs will not support this.”

The NAGP is calling on the HSE and Department of Health to urgently meet with us to resolve this issue in the interest of patient care.