Concerns over elective surgery delays

By Joan Geraghty

A NUMBER of members of HSE West have raised concerns that the impact of Covid-19 on health services will be felt long after the development of a vaccine and that the HSE could be dealing with the backlog for over a decade.

At the November Forum meeting on Tuesday last, specific concerns were raised regarding delays in children receiving ophthalmology appointments during their critical formative years, with some children waiting more than 2.5 years for an appointment.

The return of CervicalCheck services since July 6 was welcomed but a backlog of 40,000 now waiting in the HSE West area in regard to Breast Check was also highlighted.

It was noted during the meeting that elective surgeries and outpatient services had been effectively suspended since the Covid outbreak in March and that even though services were now resuming, there would be delays due to the need to stream patients and social distance.

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