The latest waiting figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund reveal that 516,162 people were waiting for an outpatient appointment in December 2018, with more than 150,000 people waiting over a year to see a doctor.
Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Stephen Donnelly commented, “These figures reveal that 152,940 people spent all of 2018 on a waiting list – this is a damning indictment of the current state of our health service. In fact, almost 90,000 people have been waiting over 18 months for a consultation.
“Such long waiting times are simply unacceptable and urgently need to be addressed. The number of people waiting over a year for an appointment is now greater than the entire population of Wicklow.
“Minister Harris claims that the outpatient waiting list 2018 performance has seen ‘some stability’ with a year-on-year increase of 3%. This is a very complacent response. The Minister promised an outpatient action plan during 2018 but it never materialised and overall outpatient waiting lists are up around 25% under his tenure.
“There was a welcome fall in the In-Patient/Day Case waiting list during 2018, which is further evidence of the success of the National Treatment Purchase Fund, the restoration of which was secured by Fianna Fáil in 2016. The additional funding secured for it in 2019 can help to make further progress on this,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.
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