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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Number of inpatients on a waiting list for over a year has jumped by 1,535%

In June 2016, there were 14,137 people on a waiting list for an inpatient appointment, diagnostic procedure or surgery across Irish hospitals for longer than a year.

THE HOSPITAL WAITING list crisis is much worse than previously feared with the number of people on the inpatient waiting list for more than a year now at its highest on record.

An analysis by of figures obtained from the National Treatment Purchase Fund – which compiles data each month – shows that the average monthly number of people waiting for longer than a year on an inpatient list was 1,535% higher between 2014 and 2016 than it was in the previous two years.

Between May 2012 and May 2014, just 479 people waited for longer than 12 months for an inpatient appointment. Skip forward to the next two years (between June 2014 and June 2016), that figure jumps to 7,839.


In June 2016, there were 14,137 people on a waiting list for an inpatient appointment, diagnostic procedure or surgery across Irish hospitals for longer than a year. During the same month last year, the figure was 9,220 (making a 56% increase).

Total numbers


The total number of people waiting on both inpatient and outpatient procedures is also at its highest since 2011.

Today, a huge 96,546 people are waiting for an inpatient appointment.

An even more staggering 420,545 are waiting on an outpatient appointment.

Altogether, there are 517,091 patients waiting for an inpatient or outpatient appointment, a diagnostic procedure or surgery across the country.

Between June 2015 and last month, the total number of inpatients waiting for their appointment has risen by 16% to 96,546 (from 83,120).

The corresponding figure back in June 2012 was considerably lower at 57,708. 


Opposition politicians, particularly former Health Minister Micheál Martin, have been putting pressure on the government in recent days about the lists, which they say are spiralling out of control.

Speaking in the Dáil, the Fianna Fáil leader described the situation as “appalling”, claiming it had “become dramatically worse”.


In a statement last week, Fianna Fáil’s mental health spokesperson claimed that there has been an upward trend for some two years as targets were “consistently missed”.

Speaking in recent days, Health Minister Simon Harris agreed that overall waiting lists are “unacceptably high”. He has asked the NTPF to work to reduce the large number of people waiting on specific procedures such as endoscopies (which check a person’s digestive tract).

FactCheck: How much worse are hospital waiting lists getting?

Read: ‘I fear it’s going to take a child to die before they act’ 

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