Figures show over 500,000 out-patients still awaiting treatment

Number awaiting in-patient and day-case treatment down slightly on previous month

Latest figures show there are 13,426 people waiting longer than one year for in-patient treatment

The number of people awaiting out-patient treatment in public hospitals has fallen slightly, but still remains above the half million mark.

New figures released on Wednesday by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) put the figure for pending outpatient treatment at 500,800 by the end of February, a slight decrease from 502,482 at the end of the previous month.

The number of those awaiting in-patient and day-case treatment has also fallen slightly over the month, but there are still nearly 13,500 people queuing for longer than one year.

Overall the number of people on waiting lists for in-patient and day-case treatment fell from 80,204 in January to 79,039 in February.


There were 4,336 patients in Dublin’s three main children’s hospitals awaiting in-patient or day-case treatment, down from 4,486 at the end of January. The figure for children’s out-patient cases rose slightly from 42,042 to 42,187.

The NTPF is responsible for gathering data on people waiting for public hospital treatment.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said reductions in both those waiting for a first outpatient appointment and those waiting for in-patient or day- case procedure were to be welcomed

“In July 2017 the overall waiting list stood at 86,111 compared to the February 2018 figure of 79,039. This is the lowest the overall IPDC waiting list has been since October 2016, when it was 79,621,” he said in a statement.


“This Government is committed to tackling waiting lists, and the budget for the NTPF and waiting lists has dramatically increased this year. We expect to continue to see progress in driving down waiting lists.”

According to the Minister, NTPF initiatives this year should enable the provision of treatment for up to 20,000 patients on the in-patient and day-case waiting lists across a range of specialities and procedures.

“At present 57 per cent of patients on the in-patient list wait less than six months, and over 83 per cent wait less than 12 months for their procedure. This is despite the additional demands on our hospitals,” said Mr Harris.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent