Doctors says the health service is manipulating waiting lists

The HSE is being accused of manipulating waiting lists and making people lose their place.

GPs say the health service is writing to patients asking if they still want treatment recommenced by their doctor.

People who don't reply within 10 days are at risk of losing their place on the list.

Chair of the IMO GP Committee, Padraig McGarry, says people's condition can often get worse as a result.

"I think its a false way to validate lists because they're given 10 days to reply this and if they fail to reply they're then taking off the lists.

What happens then is they have to go back to the GP to get re-referred again for the same problem, which possibly has deteriorated rapidly in the meantime. And they go to the bottom of the list."

Meanwhile a Fianna Fail TD's describing as unacceptable the length of time older people are spending in Emergency Departments in hospitals.

Fianna Fail's Stephen Donnelly says more than 7,000 over 75's are enduring over 24 hour waits in EDs across the country.

The figures cover the time between January and May this year.

The party's Stephen Donnelly says the first five months of this year saw some of the worst ever overcrowding in our hospitals.

He says the situation has to be tackled urgently:

"Serious action is needed, we were told by the Government that their target was that no man or woman over the age of 75 would have to wait more than a day in our emergency departments.

It's being missed and we're not seeing a credible plan to tackle it, so serious action is required very quickly."