A Cork TD has said that the latest stats from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on waiting lists for outpatient hospital care is “bad news for Cork”.
The NTPF figures show that at the end of October there were more than 612,000 people on waiting lists for outpatient hospital care compared to 567,000 for the same time last year, an increase of more than 45,000.
The NTPF revealed that the South/South West Hospital Group which includes Cork, South Tipperary, Kerry and Waterford has the highest collective number of people on its waiting lists in the State.
A total of 127,703 people were on the South/South West Hospital Group’s waiting lists for outpatient hospital care as of October 29.
In Cork, the number of people on waiting lists for outpatient hospital care included: a total of 1,589 at Bantry General Hospital; 29, 643 at Cork University Hospital (CUH); 1, 223 at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH); 2,658 at Mallow General Hospital; 6,754 at Mercy University Hospital and 23,358 at South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry said that the issue “is not just the huge mass of people being forced to wait for health treatment - it is also the amount of time that people are being forced to wait”.
“The number of people being forced to wait more than 18 months for appointments is more than five times greater than it was four years ago. The Government can't hide behind the Covid crisis on that one,” he said.
The numbers on waiting lists for 18 months or more for outpatient hospital care in 2016 were 26,796. The equivalent figure for 2020 is 153,872.
The NTPF figures also showed that over 45,000 are now waiting for care from Children's Health Ireland.
Meanwhile, the South/South West Hospital Group has the third-highest number of people waiting for inpatient and day case treatment, after Ireland East Hospital Group and Saolta University Health Care Group.
As of October 29, a total of 11,045 people in the hospital group were actively waiting for treatment with 357 at Bantry General Hospital; 1,095 at Cork University Hospital (CUH); 608 at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH); 162 at Mallow General Hospital; 1,188 at Mercy University Hospital and 2,053 at South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital.