Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Stephen Donnelly has pledged immediate action to arrange outpatient appointments for the thousands of public patients who have been waiting for an outpatient appointment since Leo Varadkar was Minister for Health.

“Just before Christmas I received a reply to a Parliamentary Question that informed me that 3,807 outpatients had been on the waiting list since at least November 2015,” said Deputy Donnelly.

“There is no greater indictment of how Fine Gael have mismanaged our hospitals than this figure. We all knew that outpatient waiting times are bad, but to be four years on a waiting list is outrageous.

“If elected to government, Fianna Fail will ask the National Treatment Purchase Fund to arrange appointments for these people as a matter of urgency. It beggars belief that Simon Harris hasn’t done this already.

“Incredibly, despite such damning figures, Fine Gael are now pledging a 12-week waiting time target for hospital waiting lists. Fine Gael have never met a single waiting list target in the past five years. Leo Varadkar weakened James Reilly’s targets out to 18 months. And five years on, the target has still not been reached.

“It’s just extraordinary to have 3,807 people waiting since November 2015 – waiting since Barack Obama was the President of the United States, David Cameron was UK Prime Minister, George Michael and David Bowie were alive, and the Brexit referendum hadn’t been held. It shows the vas