‘I’ve been on a waiting list for my chest pains since 2012’
A PENSIONER suffering from chest pains after suffering a heart attack has been left waiting for an angiogram for five years.
Pat McManus, 67, is one of the nearly 700,000 people currently on some form of hospital waiting list. As someone who recovered from a heart attack in 2002, Pat keeps a close eye on his health.
However, he recalled yesterday as he spoke to the Irish Daily Mail: ‘In 2012, I experienced chest pains. I went back into the Mater Private to see a consultant, who said I needed to have an angiogram.’
The doctor made an appointment for a scan. But two days after he saw the consultant, Pat was contacted by the hospital accounts department to say that the relevant medical cover no longer covered angiogram tests, and he would have to go on the public waiting list.
‘That was 2012, and I am still waiting,’ he said.
In the intervening years, Mr McManus has worked hard to maintain his health, making a number of lifestyle changes.
He has tried to discuss the issue with the insurance company but has received no satisfactory answer. ‘I just have to deal with it,’ he says of his situation. Mr McManus, who is retired, had to drop his health insurance as he could no longer afford it. ‘If I do have another heart attack, it might very well kill me,’ he said.
Pat’s story was featured on RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline.
Yesterday’s broadcast marked the ten-year anniversary of the death of bowel cancer patient, Susie Long who died while waiting for a colonoscopy. The mother-of-two had been waiting
‘Another heart attack could kill me’
seven months for an appointment when she lost her battle with cancer. While she fought for her life, she shared her story with Liveline listeners.
Also on the show yesterday was 62-year-old Paul McGrath who first sought an appointment with a urology expert two years ago. He was recently told his appointment will not be until 2020.
‘Two years ago, I was referred to the urology department. About two months ago the letter arrived to say I was on the waiting list and I would be seen in four years,’ he said. ‘My heart went down to my ankles.’
Mr McGrath was advised to get a letter from his GP to emphasise the severity of the case in a bid to fast-track his appointment. ‘That was about three weeks ago and I haven’t heard a word. I’m very concerned.’
Asked if he’ll be able to wait four years, Mr McGrath said: ‘I don’t think so, no. I don’t have the money to go private.’
Speaking about the legacy of Susie Long he said: ‘I’m just the minor end of the scale compared to that poor girl.’
Peter O’Connor told Liveline that he was diagnosed with the same form of bowel cancer as Susie Long at the same time.
‘I was diagnosed almost the same day or week as her. The first thing the consultant said to me is, “Do you have private health insurance?” – and I said, yeah. He said, “Well, I’ll operate within a week”,’ he said.
He said he had been well aware of Susie’s plight a decade ago. ‘It could have been me: I had the same symptoms. I had private health (insurance). I lived.
‘The only difference is I opted for private health insurance and used it, we had the very same form of bowel cancer. And she died,’ Mr O’Connor said.
The National Treatment Purchase Fund was allocated €55million in this week’s budget to cut waiting lists.
Liveline: Pensioner Pat McManus