A PROMINENT Meath GP has criticised the HSE for failing to invest in public physiotherapy services in Navan - where the waiting list is now up to two years.
Dr Marie Scully has learned that over-burdened physiotherapists who are trying to get through 650 patients on the waiting list, are only now dealing with referrals from January 2017.
The Navan GP discovered the increased waiting times after querying why a patient of hers hadn’t received an appointment, eight months after referral to community primary care services at Beaufort House in the town.“I knew the list was longish, but I was expecting maybe a six or seven month delay so when my patient contacted me, I thought I’d better investigate further.”
The long-established GP at Abbey House Clinic in Navan said the delays were unacceptable and called on the HSE to provide more funding for staff at the centre to address the waiting lists before they became even longer.
It’s understood that at present, the centre employs just one full-time and one part-time physiotherapist. It’s also believed that it’s apparently difficult to obtain cover if either staff are on leave.
“Patients with acute conditions will be prioritised and GPs can expedite cases if they’re urgent but unfortunately, we can’t do this for everyone.
“It’s generally been a six to nine month waiting period but this seems to have lengthened dramatically and people shouldn’t have to wait in pain for 18-24 months to be seen.
“This also tends to turn conditions like back pain into chronic conditions, which are more difficult to manage as they are not being treated in a timely manner.
“I would hope the HSE addresses this issue promptly for those who have been already waiting too long,” she concluded.
The HSE was asked to respond to queries on the matter but had not responded at time of going to press.
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