More than 84,000 people on hospital waiting lists in Cork

The latest figures come as consultants voiced concern that years of underinvestment had led to unacceptably long waiting times.
More than 84,000 people on hospital waiting lists in Cork

At the end of may there were 84,038 people waiting for outpatient and inpatient treatment across Cork hospitals.

MORE than 84,000 people are on hospital waiting lists in Cork, the latest National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures reveal.

As of May 26, there were 84,038 people waiting for outpatient and inpatient treatment across Cork hospitals.

The outpatient waiting list in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) has increased by 124% over a two-year period.

The number waiting to be treated in CUMH in May 2020 was 1,274, while the number of patients awaiting outpatient appointments at the end of May 2022 was 2,859 — 66 of whom were children.

At the end of May, Cork University Hospital (CUH) had 39,125 patients awaiting outpatient appointments, 10,783 of whom were waiting 18 months or more.

The Mercy University Hospital (MUH) had 7,229 people awaiting outpatient appointments and the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) had 23,246 people waiting.

Bantry General Hospital had 1,418 people awaiting outpatient appointments while there were 3,600 people waiting to be seen at Mallow General Hospital.

Nationally there were 624,444 patients awaiting outpatient appointments as of May 26, with 138,757 people waiting 18 months or more.

Meanwhile, there were 3,055 people awaiting inpatient treatment at SIVUH at the end of May.

CUH had 1,605 people awaiting inpatient treatment, while CUMH had 500, and MUH had 1,112 people on waiting lists for inpatient treatment.

Bantry had 141 people waiting for inpatient treatment, while Mallow General Hospital had 148.

From a national perspective, as of May 26, there were 79,690 patients awaiting inpatient treatment, with 10,125 people waiting 18 months or more.

The latest figures come as consultants voiced concern that years of underinvestment had led to unacceptably long waiting times.

The Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association (IHCA) said that waiting lists and public hospital capacity deficits continued to grow because of a shortage of acute beds and other facilities, and because of consultant vacancies, which are leading to cancellations in essential scheduled care.

The IHCA also said that hospital waiting lists across the country have still not recovered from the height of the first wave of the Covid pandemic in 2020.

IHCA president Alan Irvine said public hospitals were “unable to cope” with the acute demands.

“Long waiting times for admission and hospitals asking people to stay away from emergency departments are just the latest manifestation of the years of persistent underinvestment in bed capacity and the ongoing consultant recruitment-and-retention crisis,” Prof Irvine said.

“Our public hospitals are simply unable to cope with the acute demands they now face.”

Prof Irvine said that at least 1.3m people are on waiting lists for public health services.

“It is extremely concerning that we again see more than 900,000 people on some form of a public hospital waiting list to be treated or assessed by a consultant,” he said. “With an additional 236,000 people awaiting diagnostic scans and more than 200,000 waiting for other treatments, at least 1.3m people are on waiting lists for public health services.

“Without addressing the shortage of consultants, hospital beds, theatres, diagnostic and other facilities, the Government will not address the core problems facing our public hospitals.”

Since the end of May 2020, more than 48,500 people have been added to the outpatient waiting lists at hospitals across the country, which represents an 8% increase.

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