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Resources are promised to solve gynaecology care crisis

More than 4,000 outpatients and over 400 inpatients are waiting to access gynaecology services at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH).

Cork has the largest number of outpatients waiting for gynaecology services in the country, with 4,265 patients awaiting care at the end of 2016, according to figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF).

This compares to just over 2,100 patients awaiting outpatient appointments at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital, the second-highest OPD gynaecology waiting list figure.

In relation to inpatient day case gynaecology services, CUMH had 428 patients on its waiting list at the end of 2016, the second-highest figure nationally after Letterkenny University Hospital, where 484 patients were awaiting inpatient services.

A plan is being submitted to Minister for Health Simon Harris by the South/South West Hospital Group, which takes account of maximising resources in other hospitals, including the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, according to Chief Executive Officer of the Cork University Hospital Group Mr Tony McNamara. “We’ve appointed another locum gynaecologist to work on some new initiatives with regards to day-case gynaecology activity, which is very important, and we’re investing in equipment to provide them with the infrastructure to address those issues,” Mr McNamara told MI.

“It is an issue we’ve been highlighting for the last two years in relation to the need for additional resources and the need to maximise the resources that there are in the South/South West Group in other hospitals, whether that’s in Kerry, Clonmel or Waterford, where there are gynaecology services.

“Those issues are now being addressed in the context of a plan that’s being submitted to the Minister. It’s a plan to address the gynaecology patients who are waiting primarily for outpatient appointments.”

Mr McNamara said only 10 gynaecology inpatients at CUMH waited longer than the maximum threshold of 15 months in 2016.

He confirmed that the four gynaecology posts and €150,000 for new equipment would be provided in 2017.

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