Cork oncology consultant calls for taskforce to improve hospital infrastructure

The human and financial cost of not treating patients as quickly as possible must be taken into account when considering how much investment can be found for our hospitals.

That’s the opinion of Cork oncology consultant Professor Seamus O’Reilly who says the state needs to prioritse improvements in hospital infrastructure following the pandemic in order to retain staff and tackle huge waiting lists.

Around one million people are waiting for an appointment with a consultant, with the Irish Hospital Consultants Association warning that it could take 14 years to tackle the list unless hospitals get more resources.

Professor O’Reilly says a taskforce should be set up to identify how hospital infrastructure could be improved, with a view towards an ambitious project of improvements which could include rebuilding some hospitals from the ground up.

He told RedFM News that deferring investment will cost more in the long term.

“I know that’s incredibly costly and expensive, but it’s also costly and expensive to leave people on waiting lists, when they take longer to see you they require more care, and that’s not to mention the human cost of the suffering that’s there before they see you.

“There’s a cost in not treating as well, I think that sometimes it’s felt that deferring is a way of saving money, but in many illnesses deferring is a way of increasing the cost to society, and to the patient with the illness.”

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