WITH doctors warning that pressure on GP services and emergency departments is being exacerbated by the number of patients languishing on ever growing waiting lists, the latest statistics from the Department of Health make grim reading.
There are currently tens of thousands of local patients waiting either out patient or in patient treatment, and the majority of those patients have been waiting at least a year for treatment.
The situation, which was already close to crisis point even before Covid, is now so alarming the Stormont health committee has launched an enquiry..
As of March 31 this year, there were 46,727 people awaiting outpatient treatment within the Western Trust area. That figure only includes patients waiting whose treatment is taking place within the Western Trust, and doesn’t account for those living locally who are scheduled for treatment in other Trusts, such as Belfast or at one of the centralised specialist centre for conditions such as cataracts or varicose veins.
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