10 Dec 2019, 13.33

The Joint Committee on Health’s quarterly meeting with Health Minister Simon Harris and HSE CEO Paul Reid takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, in Leinster House, Committee Room 3 at 9am.

Speaking before the meeting, Committee Chairman Dr Michael Harty TD said: “The quarterly meeting on health issues with the Minister and the HSE is an opportunity for Oireachtas Members to engage with the Minister as part of the accountability process that is central to our democratic processes and values.

“The Committee will, in particular, want to raise issues around the waiting lists for outpatient appointments and treatments which are now at a record high and signify a huge unmet need by our health system. We have too many people sitting too long on waiting lists with the risk that their health will continue to deteriorate because of delays in treatment.”

In addition the Committee will engage on the issue of the deteriorating conditions in our acute hospitals with record numbers on trollies and long queues in our A&E Departments.  Dr Harty said: “Hospitals are at crisis point with staff working in ever more stressful conditions. The Minister and the HSE will be asked to outline plans for more step-down beds and for increased access to diagnostics to alleviate some of the pressure on hospitals. Too many patients are in hospital today when they should not be.”

Watch the Committee live here.

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