Waiting list for eye treatment in Northern Ireland is appalling

Alliance Health Spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has condemned the local waiting list for eye treatment as appalling. It was revealed recently by Minister Paul Goggins that at the end of June this year, almost 20,000 people in Northern Ireland were still waiting for a first appointment with an opthamology consultant about cataracts. These figures stand out in comparison to government claims yesterday that hospital waiting lists here are getting shorter.

Strangford Assembly Member, Kieran McCarthy said: “I am absolutely appalled that the waiting list for local people awaiting eye treatment is so large. Even though the government said that waiting lists have dropped overall, there are still many areas in the healthcare system which need investment.

“Almost 20,000 here are on the waiting list for out-patient treatment for cataracts. Also almost 2,000 local people are awaiting surgery for cataracts.

“More funding must be provided to employ more ophthalmic staff to alleviate this massive waiting list. It is mainly older people who have problems with cataracts, and they are one of the sections of society which government should be prioritizing as regards healthcare funding.

“These figures are astounding and the matter must be addressed now before the situation gets any worse.”


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