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The setback has caused huge frustration among patients, some of whom wait up to 15 months or more to see a neurologist at the hospital.
One Dublin patient took to Twitter to complain, stating “Mater Hosp has just cancelled all neurological appointment list for Nov. These are people on a one-year waiting list [sic]”.
The patient added in a separate Tweet: “My one year wait was for appointment next week. They’ve just cancelled and confirmed all scheduled apps postponed [sic]”.
When contacted by the Medical Independent, the patient, who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), said her appointment has yet to be rescheduled.
“Because I have MS, I am seen once a year. So my appointment was my first appointment in a year. I needed that appointment because I have had tingling in my legs recently,” the patient explained.
“I got a call from the Mater saying that they had cancelled my appointment and when I enquired further they said all appointments have been cancelled. I was appalled.”
In response to queries on the issue, a spokesperson for the hospital stated: “The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Neurology Department recently had a reduction in consultant commitment, subsequently clinics have had to be rescheduled.” They added that no more clinics this month have been cancelled.
Some 5,550 people attended the hospital’s neurology outpatient clinics in 2015. Given the high demand for neurology appointments, the wait to see a neurologist can be up to 15 months, according to the Mater’s website.
Almost 500,000 patients are currently awaiting an outpatient appointment nationally, according to figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF).