New figures revealing a surge in inpatient and outpatient waiting lists are a damning indictment of Leo Varadkar’s first year as Health Minister, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher.

Figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund show waiting lists at hospitals across the country have rocketed since Leo Varadkar took over the Department of Health in July 2014.

Between July 2014 and July 2015 there has been:

▪ A 75.9% increase in number of outpatients waiting 12 months plus with 66,621 on the list for over a year compared with 37,876 in July 2014
▪ A 201 % increase in number of inpatient / day cases waiting 9 months plus, up from 5,448 in July 2014 to 16,398 last month
▪ A 480 % increase in number of inpatient / day cases waiting 12 months plus, up from 1,562 last summer to 9,063 in July 2015

On top of this, the level of overcrowding in Emergency Departments in July 2015 was up 21% on July 2014, and was the highest ever level of overcrowding recorded by the INMO for the month of July.

Deputy Kelleher said, “By any benchmark this is an extraordinary decline in health service provision. It clearly indicates that Minister Varadkar has failed to deliver the resources necessary to provide timely hospital care to those who most need it.

“Leo Varadkar has been in charge of the health service for more than a year now. But all he has done on waiting lists is abandon his predecessor’s targets and diminish expectations. Patients and the health service deserve so much better.”