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2,446 children on eye clinic waiting lists at Crumlin Hospital

Around 1,444 are still waiting for an appointment at the Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Image: Eye check via Shutterstock

OVER 4,200 CHILDREN across the country are on waiting lists to be seen at outpatient clinics for eye problems.

According to RTÉ News, the delays are at three of the main children’s hospitals – Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin (OLCHC) and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght.

In a statement this evening, OLCHC said “long waits in any area are always of concern”. They said at end of June 2013, there were 2,446 on the waiting list for ophthalmology with 1,002 given appointments, while a further 1,444 are waiting for an appointment.

A lack of community services has resulted in many minor cases flooding outpatient departments. Following a verification of its waiting lists, 21 per cent of names were removed, leaving the total at the current number of 2,446.

“Some of these patients were referred under the school’s screening programme and the hospital is working with the HSE to ensure that these children are seen in the community,” the hospital said.

The hospital is now working on an action plan to resolve the longest waiters in line with the national target of one year by the end of November. This action plan will be prepared jointly by the Children’s Hospital Group i.e. OLCHC, Children’s University Hospital Temple St and the National Children’s Hospital Tallaght.

Deep concern

The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children, Robert Troy, said the numbers are “deeply concerning” but said it’s not just children with eye conditions that are experiencing “unacceptable delays”.

In Crumlin alone there are 3,050 children with heart issues awaiting an appointment – that’s 600 more than are seeking appointments over eye problems in that hospital.

“Time and time again we are seeing more evidence that Minister Reilly’s ‘spin’ on the waiting list numbers is not matched by the reality facing patients on the ground. This situation is simply not acceptable and every effort must be made to reduce the waiting times as a matter of priority,” added Troy.

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Amy Croffey

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