MORE than 20,000 people were waiting longer than 18 months for an outpatient appointment at hospitals in Cork at the end of last month.
According to figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), 76,936 people were waiting for outpatient appointments at hospitals across Cork City and county in March, with 20,819 people waiting longer than 18 months.
The figures show that Cork University Hospital had the highest number of patients waiting for an appointment, with 32,898 adults and 5,816 children on the outpatient waiting list.
Overall, 10,856 adults and children were waiting for longer than 18 months for an outpatient appointment at the hospital.
Some 23,230 adults and children were waiting for outpatient appointments at the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, while 7,494 adults and children were waiting for appointments at the Mercy University Hospital.
A total of 3,336 adults and children were waiting for appointments at Mallow General Hospital, with 2,588 adults and 57 children waiting for appointments at Cork University Maternity Hospital.
At Bantry General Hospital, 1,520 adults were waiting for appointments.
The overall number of people waiting for outpatient appointments in Cork has risen significantly since last year.
At the end of March 2021, 68,491 people were waiting for outpatient appointments at hospitals in Cork. At that time, 19,130 were waiting more than 18 months to be seen.
The NTPF figures show that 6,428 people were awaiting inpatient procedures at hospitals in Cork last month, with 655 of these people waiting longer than 18 months to be admitted — a slight decrease on March 2021 figures.
The South/South West Hospital Group has been contacted for comment.