Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said Department of Health figures released to her show that there are nearly twice the children on hospital waiting lists to see a specialist than the official State figures.
Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The information regarding children’s waiting lists released to Sinn Féin by the Department of Health leaves the Minister for Health and the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) with huge questions to answer over how they present the number of children on hospital waiting lists.
“The figures released to me have shown that there are actually 86,625 children waiting to see a specialist in hospitals across the State – almost double the supposed official figure of 46,000.
“There is a staggering 30,188 children waiting over a year to see a specialist with 18,728 of these waiting over 18 months.
“The release of this information justifies many campaigners, politicians, and journalists who questioned the official figures and said there were many children awaiting to see a specialist but were being counted on adult waiting lists.
“In particular, there are huge problems regarding the number of children waiting to see an ENT specialist with 2,650 children waiting in Waterford, 2,370 waiting in Tullamore, 1,440 waiting in Limerick, 1,224 in Letterkenny, 1,088 in Drogheda, and 1,061 in Galway.
“Beyond that, there are 998 children waiting for paediatrics in Drogheda and 1,170 waiting in Galway, in Cork 695 children are on waiting lists for paediatric cardiology, and in Limerick 647 children are waiting to see an ophthalmologist.
“The waiting lists for children across every hospital are huge and it is only now we are seeing their true extent.”