[Sinn Fein]

19 September 2001

Council calls for updated waiting lists

Councillor Nicky Kehoe has called for the government to release hospital waiting list figures on a daily and weekly basis. Kehoe made his demand after it was revealed over the weekend that waiting lists at the country's largest hospital, St. James increased by 20 percent in the first five months of 2001. Kehoe said ``the public are being kept in the dark about how bad our health care system is.''

The Sinn Fein representative said:

``It would be a relatively simple process for these statistics to made available on a much more regular basis. By releasing daily and weekly figures on waiting lists the government can be named and shamed on a daily basis for its appalling treatment of this country's sick.

``In the new era under the Freedom of Information Act it is the public's right to know exactly what state our health care system is in. Under the current system, the Department is publishing figures for waiting lists that are more than three months out of date. Everyone knows our healthcare system is a shambles, but the government's failure to release day-to-day figures is hiding the full extent of the crisis.''

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