Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has highlighted the fact that the number of children waiting longer than 18 months for their first hospital appointment after being referred by their GP has rocketed by nearly 540% in just one year.
Deputy Murphy was commenting after his party analysed the recent waiting list figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
“There should never be a situation where children, or indeed any person, should have to wait 18 months for an appointment, yet we have the scandalous situation at present of having 6,037 children waiting for more than 18 months which is totally unacceptable
“The figures for Galway University Hospital show that there are currently a total of 1,628 children waiting for an initial hospital appointment with 326 waiting for twelve months or more and 110 waiting for more than 18 months. A further breakdown of the figures shows that since July 2016 there has been a 50% increase in the number of children waiting for twelve months or more at Galway University Hospital and an increase of over 42% of the number of children waiting for more than 18 months or more which is scandalous,” said Deputy Murphy.
The Fianna Fáil TD noted that there in July 2017 there were 467 children waiting for a first hospital appointment at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe which is an overall increase of 7.4% on July 2016 while in Sligo Regional Hospital there are 514 children waiting which is a 20% increase on figures from July 2016.