Year and a half outpatient appointment wait for 140,000 people, figures show

Just under 80,000 people waiting for inpatient care, including 8,000 children

Over 600,000 people are waiting for their first hospital outpatient consultation across the State, new figures show.

By the end of April, 624,773 people, including 86,940 children, were waiting for their first outpatient appointment, according to the HSE’s National Treatment Purchase Fund.

Some 79,943 people were waiting for an inpatient or day case appointment from the HSE, which is a very slight reduction compared to March’s figures. Almost 8,000 of these patients were children.

Endoscopy waiting lists have reached 27,747 people, with 1,911 people waiting 18 months or more for care. Tallaght University Hospital has the most people waiting for this procedure.

However, pre-admit data shows that 25,506 have been given a date for their inpatient, day case or endoscopy procedure.

Over 140,000 people, including 12,090 children, were waiting more than a year and a half for an outpatient appointment.

Galway University Hospitals had 50,594 people waiting for outpatient appointment. The Mater Hospital and University Hospital Limerick had the next longest waiting list for this type of care, with just over 40,000 people waiting on each of these hospitals.

The speciality with the longest outpatient waiting list is orthopaedics, with 68,674 people waiting. ENT (Ear, nose and throat), general surgery, dermatology and ophthalmology had the next highest number of people waiting for care.

Galway University Hospitals had the longest waiting lists for inpatient procedures. Some 9,118 people were waiting for a day procedure appointment from this hospital group. The Mater and St James’s hospitals had the next highest number of people waiting for inpatient care.

Just over 13,000 people were waiting for general surgery inpatient care. A further 11,017 were waiting for orthopaedics, and 8,555 and 8,503 people were waiting for ophthalmology and urology respectively.

There are 92,050 patients are recorded in the ‘planned procedure’ category and 63,047 of these patients have indicative dates for their appointment or already have an appointment. According to the HSE, these are patients who already had treatment and need further procedures, such as a patient who has had a scope who require surveillance monitoring.

Some 48,373 patients are classified as suspended, including people who are unable to attend their appointment due to personal reasons or illness. This category is also used where patients are being treated in private hospitals or aboard through HSE schemes.

Meanwhile, 314 patients were waiting for beds in Irish hospitals on Friday morning, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation trolley watch. 254 patients were waiting in emergency departments, while 60 were in wards elsewhere in the hospitals.

Limerick University Hospital and Galway University Hospital had the worst overcrowding, with 31 and 28 patients waiting respectively.