Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly, says that the latest waiting lists figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show that some 11 per cent of the population is now waiting for an outpatient appointment with a consultant.

“The figures for April are truly staggering and represent yet another record high for waiting times. 169,579 of those waiting have been doing so since April of last year.

“Timely access for patients seems further away than ever. When you consider that some of these people may then have to endure further lengthy waiting times for diagnostic treatment or surgery, that makes matters even worse.

“The outpatient waiting lists have seen little action from Minister Harris. A promised action plan for them never materialised in 2018. The fact is that the list has increased by some 136,000 on his watch and the waiting time targets set by his predecessor as Minister, Leo Varadkar, are no closer to being realised” he concluded.