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More than 556,000 waiting for first outpatient consultation as figures continue to rise

The figures have grown by over 33,000 since January last year.

THERE ARE NOW 556,770 people waiting for their first hospital outpatient consultation, according to figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF). 

The number of outpatients waiting to see a hospital consultant has grown by 33,545 in the past year, reaching 556,770 in January 2020. 

The figures have grown by more than 3,000 people since the figures for the end of 2019 were released. 

The largest number of patients waiting for hospital care are in

  • Orthopaedics
  • ENT
  • Dermatology 
  • Ophthalmology 
  • General surgery 
  • Urology 
  • Gynaecology 

President of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association Donal O’Hanlon said the rise in figures is “unacceptable”.

“The next government must now listen to what voters want and quickly move to address the overwhelming capacity deficits in our public hospitals,” O’Hanlon said in a statement. 

“Increasing beds and filling the over 500 vacant permanent consultant posts must be urgently addressed to reduce waiting lists and provide timely quality care to patients.”

More than 67,300 people are waiting for inpatient care and 52,734 children are now waiting for care at the three children’s hospitals in the country. 

The IHCA said there are additional hidden patients waiting for diagnostics such as MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds, so they believe the actual figures are much higher.

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