Speaking after the presentation of the details of the Sinn Féin Comhliosta plan to deal with hospital waiting lists:
Sinn Féin is proposing a single, integrated hospital waiting list management system called ‘Comhliosta’. Recognising that Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Labour, and the PDs have all failed to deliver a health system to accommodate the basic health needs of a population of just 4.7 million people we have put forward a new model to address hospital waiting lists.
Alongside the fully costed €3.3 billion additional investment in health, Sinn Féin proposes the introduction of an integrated IT system used in the Portuguese NHS which would help to achieve new maximum wait times by actively transferring those on the list from hospitals that are failing to meet the target to hospitals that have the ability to offer the service on time. The new maximum waiting times would be developed to cover the entire period from referral to the end of the patient experience where the treatment is received or a decision not to treat is made.
Unlike the former National Treatment Purchase Fund, fees for ‘Comhliosta’ activity would be centrally determined and set at a rate below that paid for core activity, which must take account of all hospitals’ fixed costs. In Portugal, the additional surgeries conducted via the transfer system cost, on average, 70% of the price paid for basic surgery provision.
Under this model, Sinn Féin would seek the renegotiation of the Consultants Contract to achieve public-only contracts covering core activity on a full-time or part-time basis. Further income could also be generated by consultants by undertaking additional activity transferred to them by ‘Comhliosta’ outside their contracted hours.”
Under this new system proposed by Sinn Féin, patients would be able to find out easily where they are on the waiting list and the pace at which the list is moving via an online facility. There would be more effective sharing of information across healthcare providers, including between hospitals and GPs and the full capacity of the public hospital system would be strategically deployed to work through the public waiting list. This is just one element of our Sinn Féin 4 Health policy document which can be accessed via our website www.sinnfein.ie/health