Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore
More than 8,100 people were outpatient no-shows at Tullamore hospital while hundreds of others missed their surgical appointments, official HSE figures reveal.
The high rate of no-shows for out-patient appointments and operations at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore in 2017 is described as 'extraordinary' by a county councillor who is also a member of the Dublin-Mid Leinster Regional Health Forum.
Figures obtained by the Offaly Express through a Freedom of Information Request to the HSE show that in 2017 alone, 8,138 people simply did not turn up for out-patient appointments at Tullamore hospital.
That works out at more than 150 missed appointments per week or more than 32 per working day in the hospital which is the main orthopaedic surgery centre in the midlands.
Recent HSE figures revealed that 15,325 people were waiting for outpatient procedures at the hospital which is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. The Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, Naas, St James and Tallaght hospitals are in the same HSE group.
In 2017, 404 people did not turn up for Day Case Operations, Investigations and Procedures at the hospital.
Offaly County Councillor and Dublin-Mid Leinster Regional Health Forum member, Tommy McKeigue commented on the figures.
“I'm very disappointed to hear that this many people are getting appointments and don't keep them. I don't know how you penalise people, but if they are not going to show up, they should at least be giving three days notice so someone else who needs the appointment can be scheduled in.
"I know things could happen on the morning and they might not get there but that's an extraordinary figure. Once people are on a waiting list and get an appointment, just not turning up without contacting the hospital, that's scandalous,” he said.
The councillor was disturbed to learn that more than 400 people had missed operations.
“Maybe they have gone elsewhere and got the surgery done privately. It's very disturbing to hear that kind of figure. There should be a total review to find out why people haven't turned up. There should be checks to see why the surgeries, in particular, have been missed,” he said.