Almost 75,000 people waiting for outpatient appointments at Cork hospitals 

Almost 75,000 people waiting for outpatient appointments at Cork hospitals 

Of the adults waiting to be seen, more than 20,000 had been waiting longer than 18 months.

ALMOST 75,000 adults and children were waiting for outpatient appointments at hospitals in Cork at the end of last month.

According to figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), some 66,865 adults were waiting for appointments at hospitals across the city and county on October 28, with Cork University Hospital (31,889) and the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (21,416) accounting for most of the appointments.

Of the adults waiting to be seen, more than 20,000 had been waiting longer than 18 months.

In addition, 8,036 children were waiting for outpatient appointments at hospitals in Cork, again with CUH (5,488) and the SIVUH (1,898) accounting for the majority of appointments.

Some 1,652 children were waiting longer than 18 months to be seen.

The NTPF figures also shed light on inpatient waiting lists at Cork hospitals.

According to the figures, 5,641 adults were waiting for inpatient or day case procedures at hospitals in Cork with 836 people waiting longer than 18 months.

In addition, 300 children were awaiting inpatient treatment, with 34 waiting at least 18 months.

Nationally, 559,447 adults and 85,011 children are waiting for outpatient appointments at hospitals around the country while 67,293 adults and 7,369 children are awaiting inpatient or day case procedures.

Responding to the latest figures, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) warned that the target set by the Department of Health and HSE to reduce hospital waiting lists by 36,600 before the end of the year is highly unlikely to be met.

“The four-month waiting list action plan published by the Department of Health and the HSE in October was never ambitious enough, given the fact that we have nearly 1 million people waiting for care,” IHCA President Professor Alan Irvine said. “Unfortunately, the plan’s modest targets are now unlikely to be met by year-end.

“Any medium-term Government plan to address the record waiting lists which does not simultaneously address the consultant recruitment and retention crisis is destined to fail.”

Mr Irvine expects the waiting lists to get worse in the coming weeks.

“These unacceptable waiting lists are expected to get worse in the coming weeks, due to continuing increases in demand for care in our public hospitals,” he said.

“The early winter surge has already seen the widespread cancellation of operations and outpatient appointments across our public hospitals, and this continued pressure on the health service will only store up greater problems for 2022 and beyond.”

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