‘I’ve been on a wait­ing list for my chest pains since 2012’

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Katie O’Neill Health Re­porter katie.o’neill@dai­ly­mail.ie

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

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