Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has called on Health Minister Simon Harris to direct the National Treatment Purchase Fund to provide an accurate, clear and complete picture of the real state of waiting lists right way.

“Waiting lists are already shockingly high with the waiting list for scheduled procedures having rocketed from under 50,000 in 2013 to more than 80,000 in 2016.”

“The fact that things are even worse than this will cause great alarm and apprehension.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting following RTÉ Investigates claims to have uncovered evidence that shows there are thousands of patients waiting for operations and procedures that have not been included in the waiting list figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

“The NTPF would appear to be claiming that this is in line with best international practice. Well this may be an international practice but it is hardly the best?

“Being on a waiting list for a long period of time is distressing enough. To have no confidence in those responsible for the lists only compounds this.

“We have heard enough about the phenomenon of “fake news”. Minister Harris must direct the NTPF to publish true and accurate waiting lists immediately,” concluded Kelleher.