Six month waiting lists to see neurologists at Altnagelvin

Tue, 08/11/2011 - 22:14 -- Editor

People with neurological problems in Derry are having to wait up to six months to be seen by a specialist.

There are currently 1,442 patients on a waiting list to see a neurologist in the Western Health and Social Care Trust area, with 560 of those people having to wait more than six months for an appointment.

SDLP Health Spokesperson Mark H Durkan MLA has called on the Health Minister to address the lengthy waiting lists.

Mr Durkan said: “1,442 patients are waiting to see a neurologist in the Western Health and Social Care Trust. This is completely unacceptable especially with the majority of them are having to wait up to 26 weeks just to get an appointment.

“The fact is that anyone waiting to see a neurologist has the potential of suffering from a serious illness. If the Minister is serious about focusing on a preventative health strategy, he must address these waiting times immediately.

“If the Western trust, indeed any trust, is unable to see patients within an acceptable time frame other options must be considered. I intend to highlight to the Minister that we must be looking over the border and across the water at services that patients here can avail of.

“These delays in appointments are having hugely detrimental impact on patients and are holding up the treatment of serious illnesses adding to the stress and worry of already sick people. A concerted effort must now be made to reduce these waiting times.”