Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea says he’s appalled by the latest waiting list figures which show a continuing deterioration in waiting times for children on a list for an outpatient appointment with a consultant.
An analysis of the latest waiting figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund for April shows that overall some 898 children are waiting for an appointment at University Hospital Limerick – 4 of them for more than a year and 1 of them for over 18 months.
“To have nearly 900 children waiting for an appointment with a consultant is just disgraceful. The scale of the increase is very alarming too – as it has soared from 713 in May 2016 to 898 last month. This is an enormous 25% increase in two years”, said Deputy O’Dea.
“The number of children being forced to wait for months on end for an outpatient appointment is truly shocking. During his time as Health Minister, Leo Varadkar pledged that no-one, adult or child, would be waiting more than 18 months by the end of June 2015.
“This government and its predecessor have repeatedly failed to deliver on outpatient waiting times.
“These failures have a significant human impact. Twelve months is a substantial amount of time in a child’s life – to have even 4 children waiting for an appointment with a consultant since this time last year is just wrong. They should not be made to suffer for this length of time. It creates additional stress and anxiety for parents and in some cases could have a serious impact on children’s outcomes”, concluded Deputy O’Dea.
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