The issue of GPs being forced to send their patients to Emergency Departments in order to skip years of long queues to see consultants and obtain critical diagnostic tests is not new and will not end until our hospitals are properly resourced according to Senator Robbie Gallagher.
“Recent media reports outlined the situation of people, referred by their GP for a diagnostic procedure at their local hospital, being forced to go to Emergency Departments in order to get a test. Who can blame GPs for doing their best for their patients even if it causes an increase in the number of people turning up at Emergency Departments? GPs should not be forced to send their patients into the Emergency Department in the hope of getting a diagnostic in reasonable time but they know it’s the only way their patient will get the diagnostic test in a timely manner,” said Senator Gallagher.
“We constantly hear that once you get past the Emergency Department, the Heath Service works very well but until we deal with the challenge of having too few consultant level doctors, we will continue to see high waiting lists. We need increased capacity in terms of diagnostic services. There are backlogs in our acute hospitals so the answer must include creating diagnostic hubs in our community hospitals, but it’s all predicated on having enough consultants working in the system in the first place to see the patients being referred by GPs,” he concluded.