Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly has said the fact that over 117,000 children are waiting for healthcare is a national scandal.

Deputy Donnelly received new figures which shows that 117,463 children are on a waiting list for surgery, diagnostics and assessments. Shockingly, 30,628 of these boys and girls have been waiting for over a year.

He said, “These figures are staggering. This is the first time we’ve had a national snapshot of just how many children in Ireland are waiting for hospital care and the figures are inhumane.

“Many of these young people are in serious pain, many are getting sicker as they wait, many are going to need more serious medical interventions by the time they’re finally seen.

“Never before has so much money been spent in healthcare and yet never before have this many children waited for healthcare. In no other country in Europe do they have waiting lists like these, so why do we have to put up with it here?

“What’s worse is that this is just one portion of the total number of children waiting. I asked for the number of children waiting for speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, audiology and more. These figures will begin coming in shortly from the HSE – and then we’ll see just how complete the Government’s failure is in one of its most important roles – ensuring the children of Ireland have access to healthcare.

“There is no defending these figures. No amount of fast talking or press releases can explain this away. This is a total failure by the Government,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.