Kerry Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly has accused Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin of being lobbied by a private hospital to transfer public endoscopy patients.
Deputy Daly made the claim after it was revealed public patients awaiting endoscopy procedures at University Hospital Kerry would be transferred to the Bons Secours Hospital in Tralee.
Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin revealed at the weekend that the South/South West Hospital Group had confirmed that patients waiting for longer than 13 weeks for an endoscopy at UHK would be given the option to have the procedure done at the Bons in Tralee.
This represented a change in policy by the Group, who had previously rejected Deputy Griffin's calls to avail of the services of the private Bons Secours Hospital for these procedures under the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly said staff in UHK felt there was political pressure to allow patients to be transferred, and accused Deputy Griffin of being lobbied by the private hospital.
Deputy Daly claimed UHK would be able to clear the current endoscopy waiting lists in four days if provided with the right resources, and privatisation would lead to a downgrade in services at UHK down the line.
Deputy Griffin insists he speaks to people in public and private fields, and there's a register of lobbyists which is available to the public.
He says the waiting lists would not be cleared until the end of June and it's not a question of resources.