Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary has highlighted a worrying increase in the number of people waiting for urology appointments in hospitals across the country.

There were almost 30,000 people on the outpatient waiting list at the end of August, with over 10,500 patients waiting more than a year to see a doctor.  New figures released to Deputy Calleary reveal that Tallaght Hospital, Galway University Hospital and University Hospital Waterford have the longest waiting lists for this particular speciality.

Deputy Calleary explained, “While some progress has been made with inpatient procedures, as a result of the additional funding secured by Fianna Fáil for the National Treatment Purchase Fund, the outpatient scenario is extremely worrying.  In the last year alone we’ve seen an increase of more than 1,700 patients waiting for an appointment, and over a three year period the list has risen by 40%.  The fact that over a third of all people on the list are waiting for more than a year is a clear indictment that Fine Gael is failing to get to grips with the escalating crisis.

“Progress is health has been extremely sluggish and Minister Harris’s hands-off approach is simply not working.  Last October we were told that the Minister had secured the biggest ever budget for health but once again we are facing a huge overspend and outpatient waiting lists are continuing to rise across all specialities.

“I am very concerned by the large number of people waiting to be seen by a urologist.  Like all areas of health early diagnosis and treatment is extremely important.  There are over 10,500 people waiting more than a year for an outpatient appointment, and over 3,600 waiting for more than two years – these long waiting times could have serious implications for their outcomes.

“We need to see an urgent improvement in these waiting times and others and this can only happen through investment in capacity.  The Minister assures us the budget is there but we need to ensure that it is being spent improving the delivery of these services.  We need to see action”.