Stuck on patient waiting lists: Number of irish patients on public waiting lists exceeds 500,000
Almost 24,000 people have been on outpatient waiting list for more than 15 months
The number of patients on public waiting lists has risen to more than 500,000 for the first time, new figures show.
There were more than 407,000 people waiting for outpatient appointments, 74,000 waiting for inpatient treatment and 19,000 on the waiting list for gastrointestinal tests at the end of April, according to the latest monthly figures from the National Purchase Treatment Fund.
The length of the waiting lists will pose a stiff challenge for the new Government, which has promised to fund initiatives designed to reduce hospital waiting lists.
The increase is partly a byproduct of overcrowding in hospital emergency departments over the winter, which has forced the cancellation of many elective procedures and appointments.
Almost 24,000 people on the outpatient waiting list have been there for more than 15 months, which is supposed to be the maximum permissible wait, according to official targets.
University Hospital Galway has the longest outpatient waiting list, at more than 31,000. Almost 27,000 are on the outpatient lists at Beaumont Hospital, while there are 24,000 at the Mater hospital.
The original story can be found here: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/number-of-patients-on-public-waiting-lists-exceeds-500-000-1.2638573