The Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said that there are some consultants who are refusing to accept new patients and that this is unacceptable.
Reacting to a story in the Sunday Business Post the Minister said he had become aware just in the last day or two that there is a small number of consultants who are refusing to accept referrals.
He said that it is somewhere around a dozen or half a dozen consultants of the more than 3,000 who are working in the health system.
Minister Varadkar said he understands some are saying that they will accept only patients within their catchment area.
He said that this is not acceptable as there are no catchment areas in the health system.
Minister Varadkar said that new patients must be accepted even where there are very long waiting lists.
He said waiting lists show where more consultants need to be appointed.