News

13th November 2020

Filling over 500 vacant consultant posts is key solution to delays in providing timely care to 845,000 on waiting lists

79,000 added to waiting lists since start of 2020, as 844,719 patients now wait for care; 612,817 outpatients are waiting for a consultant appointment, an increase of over 235,000 compared with 2014 and 59,383 during 2020; Direct correlation between record number of people waiting for outpatient appointments and long-standing hospital consultant vacancies. Increased wait times adversely impact patient outcomes in key areas of care;  Over 18,000 patients now waiting over a year for essential inpatient/day case treatment – more than double the number at the start of 2020. IHCA President Professor Alan Irvine: “Key to bringing down wait times continues to be more consultants and hospital capacity to care for patients.”
6th November 2020

‘Treatment delayed is treatment denied’, says leading Oncologist as cancer patients impacted by shortage of specialists in the Irish health service

Almost 150,000 less people seen by main cancer screening services in the first six months of this year as a result of the reduction in non-COVID-19 care during the first wave of the pandemic; 12,400 more people waiting for an inpatient/day case GI endoscopy since last year; Over 2,400 people on the urgent cancer wait list for endoscopy services, almost a quarter (24% or 580 people) of whom have been waiting more than 3 months for a referral; Urgent recruitment of 73 additional consultant oncologists over the next eight years needed to tackle current acute hospital and cancer services waiting lists and future demand;  St Vincent’s Oncologist, Professor John Crown: “There is a lot of apprehension as to what it will be like to be a patient or a healthcare worker in the hospital system in Ireland over the next 6 months”. The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) has today raised concerns about a lack of consultants and capacity in Ireland’s oncology services that is leaving many cancer patients waiting months to see a specialist. 
13th October 2020

Irish Hospital Consultants Association’s response to Budget 2021

Commenting on Budget 2021, Professor Alan Irvine, President, Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) said:   “We welcome much of what is contained in Budget 2021. The importance of the healthcare system to our society and economy has never been clearer. While we are playing catch-up, investment of an additional €4 billion in healthcare deserves to be recognised and provides much needed backing at a crucial time.    “We are pleased to see that many of those patient care areas we have been campaigning for through #carecantwait are recognised along with supports for those of us on the frontline.    “Dedicated funding on cancer care, maternity services and trauma are hugely significant and will benefit thousands of people. We commend Minister Donnelly on achieving agreement for these key initiatives.   “Financial backing for beds at acute, community and intensive care levels is positive. Moving quickly to use this funding while in tandem providing transparency on bed delivery numbers at hospital level will give confidence to patients and healthcare professionals alike.    “Signals to finally address the deficit in hospital consultant numbers is one we all want to see realised. Addressing the consultant deficit is a three-legged stool of funding, enabling legislation to reverse the damaging 2012 decision in full, and agreement. On all three, we are finally seeing a chink of light. There is no time to lose given winter is upon us, the added pressure of the pandemic, and over 840,000 people continue to wait for care. We must now move quickly to get times in the diary to commence discussions with Minister Donnelly and health service management to ensure workable solutions are agreed.”   ENDS  
10th October 2020

Irish Hospital Consultants Association say only way to end cynicism on health promises is solutions

“COVID-19 reveals co-dependency that exists between a sustainable economy and properly resourced health system”
9th October 2020

IHCA comments on the fact that 843,363 people are now waiting for care

Commenting on the fact that 843,363 people are now waiting for care, Prof Alan Irvine, President, Irish Hospital Consultants Association, said: 
30th September 2020

IHCA responds to decision to hire additional public health staff and government approval to draft new legislation

Commenting on the two measures signalled by government today—the decision to hire additional public health staff and Cabinet approval to draft new legislation which will impact on the delivery of healthcare—Professor Alan Irvine, President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) said: 
24th September 2020

Irish Hospital Consultants Association responds to winter plan

“A promise to invest in services but not in the professionals required to deliver them” 
11th September 2020

New leadership at hospital consultant body will continue fight for patient access to timely and quality care in Ireland

Professor Alan Irvine, Consultant Dermatologist at Children’s Health Ireland elected new President to represent over 90% of Irish hospital consultants; National Officers include Dr. Gabrielle Colleran (Vice President), Prof. Clare Fallon (Treasurer) and Dr. Conor O’Riordan (Membership Secretary); IHCA sets out key objectives of ending the consultant recruitment and retention crisis, advocating for patients, and reducing ‘still growing’ hospital waiting lists.  The Irish Hospital Consultant Association (IHCA) announced today, Friday, 11 September 2020, the election of its National Officers for the period 2020/2021. 
11th September 2020

Government must provide plans to prepare for ‘winter like no other’, says new IHCA President as waiting lists increase

Latest rise in patient waiting times comes the same day NPHET warns of the high likelihood of insufficient staffing levels to respond to service demands. 9,634 added to public outpatient waiting list in August, as 841,459 now on various NTPF waiting lists; 9.5% increase in the number of those waiting for care since the beginning of 2020;  Consultants warn that promise of ‘winter plan’ is an inadequate response and that immediate funded plan to tackle capacity deficits is needed;  New IHCA President elected at critical time for hospital consultants as health system braces for ‘winter like no other’.  IHCA President Professor Alan Irvine: “We still do not have a winter plan and it remains unclear what increased public hospital capacity will be provided…If significantly increased capacity is not urgently provided to prepare for the extraordinary winter surge due to COVID-19 and other demand increases, then it will simply be too late.”
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