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25,000 children are waiting to get their first outpatient appointment

For 10,000 of them, their wait has been longer than six months.

Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

THE LATEST FIGURES for outpatient appointments at Irish hospitals show there are currently more than 25,000 children on waiting lists.

For the first time, numbers of people waiting for appointments has passed 400,000. More than 184,000 people have been waiting more than six months to be seen.

Figures for the two children’s hospitals indicate that of the 25,257 children waiting for appointments, more than 10,000 have been waiting more than six months.

Tens of thousands of people across the country have been waiting more than a year just to get their first outpatient appointment with a consultant.

The worst delays for patients are in the south/south west hospital group. University Hospital Waterford and Cork University Hospital have the longest lists in that group.

Health minister Leo Varadkar recently announced the health service is getting a much needed €70 million injection of funding to deal with various problems impacting on hospital care.

However much of the plan for this money involves freeing up beds to tackle overcrowding in hospitals.

Read: Leo wants no more than 90 people on trolleys for more than nine hours by the end of 2015>

Read: Outpatient waiting lists have dropped 95% in the last year>

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