Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly TD says the latest waiting list figures clearly show that the Government is failing to get to grips with the challenges facing the health system.

Deputy Donnelly made the comments after new figures show 514,585 people are now waiting for an outpatient consultation.

Deputy Donnelly said, “Today’s figures on waiting lists are a damning indictment of eight years of mismanagement of the health care system by the Fine Gael Government.

“When Fianna Fáil left Government in 2010 waiting lists were at historic lows, over our time in Government, we managed to reduce waiting lists from years to months.

“Somehow over the last eight years, in spite of spending more money every year on health care Fine Gael led Governments have managed to turn those waiting lists back from months into years.

“The current performance by Minister Harris is not good enough.  It’s clear that this Government is bereft of ideas and competence on health care.

“82,597 people are now waiting over 18 months to have an examination and this figure is rising month on month. This is despite the target set by Leo Varadkar that by the end of June 2015 no-one would wait more than 18 months.

“Minister Harris needs to get the National Treatment Purchase Fund involved in addressing the outpatient challenge too.  Fianna Fáil secured the restoration of the fund in 2017 for in patients. It is now beginning to show real results with some 12,000 fewer waiting in August 2017 than were waiting in July 2017 – a reduction of almost 14%.”