Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly TD has said that the number of people waiting for an outpatient appointment in Ireland is the highest total ever recorded.
Commenting on the figures released by the National Treatment Purchase Fund this evening, he said, “Almost 11% of the population are waiting for an outpatient consultation and a huge number of them are waiting a very significant period for one.
“158,413 are waiting over a year with 96,243 of them left waiting on a list longer than 18 months. It is four years since Leo Varadkar, as Health Minister, set a target that no-one would wait more than 18 months and we are further away than ever from reaching that target.
“Ireland’s three children’s hospitals have 11,825 children waiting over a year and a half for appointments; figures that are simply appalling.
“I am also concerned that following improvements during 2018 in the number of inpatient/day case patients waiting, the number waiting has increased to 72,027.
“Despite pledges in 2018 Minister Harris never published an outpatient action plan. As the number waiting over 18 months is now heading for 100,000 it is ever more urgent that he do so.”