With the political focus over the past few weeks on the election of a new Fine Gael leader and other matters, we have heard little or nothing about the continuing chaos in the health service and the failure of the HSE and the Minister to tackle the ongoing problems that exist.

This week we hear that there are over 11,500 people awaiting treatment at Uunversity Hospital Galway and of that huge figure over 2,000 people are waiting over 18 months. The figure for those waiting at Roscommon University Hospital is 2,375 with almost 500 waiting over 15 months to be treated. I make no apologies about highlighting this situation month after month although it seems that despite all the talk about it nothing is happening to address the situation in a meaningful way. Minister Harris makes some great speeches about what he is going to do with the health service yet the situation on the ground is getting worse.

Whether the new Taoiseach leaves Simon Harris in the health portfolio or whether there is a new face in that department makes no difference, the problems remain. There have been so many initiatives to try to tackle waiting lists over the years and none have worked. I am calling on the Minister and the HSE to once again address this problem and tackle it on a realistic basis for once and for all. I will be raising this matter again this week in the Dail and will continue to raise it until we see an improvement in the situation

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