Cork Labour TD Seán Sherlock submitted questions to Stephen Donnelly, the health minister, on the issue in recent weeks and raised the issue in the Dáil.
Mr Sherlock said: “The number of patients under the age of 18 awaiting audiology treatment [nationally] in February 2021 was 9,486.
Audiology is the branch of medicine that studies hearing, balance and related disorders, with audiologists treating those with hearing loss and proactively preventing related damage.
Nationally, 19,222 children and adults were on waiting lists for audiology services at the end of 2020. Almost 7,000 of these people had been waiting over a year for services, including 1,500 children under the age of five.
The data shows that Cork/Kerry was the worst-affected region, with more than 4,000 on its waiting list. Almost 1,500 of these were waiting more than a year, including 510 children under the age of five and 600 people over 65.