Sinn Féin TD for Meath West Johnny Guirke has expressed concern that more than 161 people aged over 75 continue to languish on Navan Hospital waiting lists for longer than a year, according to new data released by the HSE

Guirke said that the Minister for Health’s short-term waiting list plans have not made inroads into waiting lists, with Emergency Department overcrowding also at record levels and more than 14,000 appointments cancelled across the State in the month of April.

Previous data released by the HSE shows that Emergency Department waits are at their highest point in 5 years.

He told Meath Live, “It is scandalous that 161 patients aged over 75 are waiting longer than a year for a hospital appointment at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan.

“Patients continue to wait longer than ever for healthcare, and this is having a severe effect on their conditions, especially for older people.

“Treatment is not accessible or affordable for the great majority of people.

“There are more than 877,000 patients on hospital waiting lists, and 87,000 of them are aged over 75.

“More than 25,000 people aged over 75 are waiting longer than a year, 161 of them at Navan hospital. And of those waiting over a year, 117 are waiting more than 18 months.

“The Health Service needs more than promises.

“We need a serious plan to reform the health service, boost capacity and staffing levels, equip our healthcare professionals, and cut wait times to deliver the timely care that patients need and deserve.

“We need to train, recruit, and retain more doctors, nurses, and allied health and social care professionals.

“We need to fill the vacant consultant posts, and address the serious issues and overworking faced by non-consultant hospital doctors who are very likely to go on strike in the coming months.

“The current government has failed to introduce meaningful reform, and their minimal-change health reform plan will not face down the many challenges across the health service.”