Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly has said the latest waiting list figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) shows that 86,343 people are now on the in-patient day case waiting list.

This figure marks a jump of 9,000 people since March and 20,000 people since the pandemic began.

Deputy Donnelly said, “In just two months all the progress made in reducing numbers on the in-patient day case waiting list has been wiped out. The latest figures are a new high for this list exceeding the previous peak recorded in July 2017.

“The rise in the outpatient list during April was less dramatic but it seems to me that fewer people are being referred and that more people on the list are waiting longer. The overall list is up 8,755 since February but the numbers waiting less than three months has plummeted from 158,173 to 131,283 in that time. At the same time the numbers waiting over a year have gone from 173,202 to 194,110 – another record high.

“This surge is a further demonstration, if we needed it, that we are not getting value for our money when it comes to the States acquisition of private hospitals.

“We are paying €115 million per month for empty beds and dark operating theatres while almost 86,000 people wait for much needed treatment. It’s time for an action plan to deal with this – it’s time for the Minister to make a call on the private hospital contracts,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.