Cappagh used to run six operating theatres. Now it’s just three. Surgeons who used to get one day each week in theatre now get two a month. They can do an average of five procedures a day, but are have been told to stop after three. So instead of doing 20 to 25 procedures a month, the surgeons are doing just six. Why? Because there isn’t the money to buy the implants. For a straight-forward procedure, these cost about €3,000. Some surgeons use ones costing just €1,500. And the patients are not allowed provide this money.

It gets worse. Because now the waiting lists are going to rise again, to more than the HSE’s 15-month target. So it’ll be fined, by the HSE, meaning even less money available, and having to slow down even more… leading to more fines.