Fermanagh patient’s disgust as waiting list grows

A LOCAL patient who has been waiting years for treatment has hit out at both the health service and our politicians for failing the people of Fermanagh. 
David Mace, who lives outside Enniskillen is in the middle of two eye surgeries. He had been told he would have to wait six weeks between the cataract operations. Having had the first one in Omagh, he has now been told he will have to wait 13 months and the second surgery will be in Magherafelt. 
“The waiting lists are absolutely disgusting,” he told the Herald, pointing out by the time he gets his second eye surgery it will have taken a total of two years and nine months. 
Pointing out his doctor “does his best”, Mr Mace hit out at what he said was management “on six figure salaries” while patients suffered for months on waiting lists. He also called for more action from our politicians. 
“We have one [politician] who does not take up her seat in Parliament,” he said. “Another is too busy touring around the UK and Europe not taking her seat in Stormont as she cannot allow an Irish language law.”
Last October the Department of Health announced cataract surgery would be moved from Omagh to Magherafelt as part of it Elective Care Plan, promising the change would reduce waiting lists. When contacted by the Herald about Mr Mace’s case a Department spokesman said the problem was with funding, with “long term additional investment” needed. 
Outlining how hundreds of millions in investment had been pumped into the service to reduce waiting times, the Department said: “Regrettably, as patient demand for elective care services currently exceeds funded health service capacity across a range of specialities, it is inevitable that waiting times will increase as has been seen over the last few years.
 “The heightened demand for services as a result of an ageing population is outstripping capacity and thus waiting times are continuing to increase. 

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA