MAYO Fianna Fáil election candidate, Councillor Lisa Chambers, has stated the cancellation of all elective surgery at Mayo University Hospital this week will have major knock-on effects on patient waiting times.
Hospital management were forced to cancel procedures due to the increase in the number of people on trolleys in the emergency department.
Councillor Chambers, who is a member of the HSE West Forum, explained: "This is not the first time that managers have had to cancel operations at Mayo University Hospital, nor will it be the last.
"Chronic overcrowding has led to procedures being delayed at hospitals across the country and now Mayo has been hit again.
"The continued deterioration of a functioning health service at the hands of Fine Gael and Labour Party has led to a chaotic and unstable system, which is buckling under the pressure.
"Successive Fine Gael health ministers have failed to get to grips with the overcrowding crisis which is now impacting on other hospital departments and patient services.
"Current Minister Leo Varadkar’s ploy of moving the goalposts on waiting times targets has been nothing more than a PR exercise, aimed at boosting the Minister’s ego. However, the minister is now struggling to meet these new extended targets.
"As Minister Varadkar toys around with waiting times, patients are paying the price. Patients, who had been due to have surgery this week could now be waiting months before their procedures are performed.
"This is a major inconvenience for them as many would have made alternative plans and arrangements to accommodate their surgery.
"Having to wait until later in the year for their procedure could also increase anxiety levels, not to mention having an impact on their health as they will have to wait for longer to have their condition treated.
"This decision to cancel operations is a reflection of the dire straits that the health system is in.
"Mayo University Hospital has lost a raft of services over the past five years and is still unable to cope with the pressure it is under. This is no longer acceptable.
"People in Mayo, and right across the country, deserve better. "