Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly has described as “astonishingly bad” the latest outpatient waiting list figures.  The stats reveal that almost 550,000 people are waiting for an appointment.

Deputy Donnelly said, “These figures make for grim reading, as they set another new record – the number of people on the outpatient waiting list jumped by over 18,000 in a month.

“It’s important though to put these numbers into perspective so that we get the real picture. There are now 541,899 people waiting for an appointment with a consultant. That’s almost equal to the population of Connacht at around 550,000.

“164,644 of these are waiting over a year and within that 99,433 have been waiting since summer 2017 at least.  If you want to see the scale of that, take a look at the Aviva stadium this afternoon. We would need three Aviva stadiums to fit in all those waiting over a year.

“This is clearly a crisis yet we see no initiative from Minister Harris. We are still waiting for an action plan on waiting lists for this year. The promised plan for outpatients in 2018 never materialised. There is no sense of urgency. When the numbers waiting for an appointment is set to surpass the population of a province surely it’s time for the Minister to take action.”