Over 134,000 people are waiting over a year for an outpatient consultation, an increase of nearly 50,000 year on year – up from 84,746 in November 2016 according to Senator Robbie Gallagher. Senator Gallagher was commenting on the most recent figures on waiting times which show that there are almost 500,000 people now waiting for an outpatient consultation.
“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, when he was Health Minister, promised that by the end of June 2015 no one would wait longer than 18 months on a list. Unfortunately, at the end of November 2017, 66,640 people are facing waits of more than 18 months. We in Fianna Fail have welcomed the return of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) after much lobbying but there is clearly now a need for it to be extended beyond Patient/Day Cases and to start focusing on Outpatients too,” said Senator Gallagher.
“The 18 month plus category doesn’t even give the full picture with waiting times for some patients with certain conditions extending into years. I hope that the increased funding for the National Treatment Purchase Fund in 2018 will enable some real and sustained progress to be made. We can’t continue with waiting times like these”, he concluded.