700,000+ on hospital waiting lists

Over half a million on outpatient list
  • Deborah Condon

Over 700,000 people are currently on hospital waiting lists, with more than 514,000 of these waiting for outpatient appointments, the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) have shown.

As of the end of August, a total of 514,585 people were waiting for outpatient appointments, including 44,165 children. Among these children, 10,304 have been waiting for an appointment for at least 18 months already. Almost 17,000 have been waiting at least one year.

The highest outpatient waiting list was found in Galway University Hospital (39,883), followed by Dublin's Mater Hospital (39,260) and University Hospital Waterford (36,558).

Of the 514,585 people waiting for an outpatient appointment, 82,597 have already been waiting for at least 18 months. The NTPF noted that just 4,830 of these have an appointment in the next six weeks.

The specialties with the highest outpatient waiting lists are ENT (66,191) and orthopaedics (63,324).

Meanwhile almost 192,000 people are waiting for inpatient or day case appointments. This includes those waiting for an appointment date for their treatment and those who already have a scheduled date.

Of these, 7,039 are children and over 500 of these have been waiting for at least 18 months.

The NTPF has also included figures for ‘suspensions', which refer to patients who have had their appointment or procedure suspended because of ‘clinical, personal or social reasons'.

A total of 11,718 appointments were suspended at the end of August.


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