22/07/2019

SF Warn Of Growing Consultant Waiting Lists For Children

A Sinn Fein TD has warned of the urgent need to control the growing waiting times for children to see a consultant.

It comes as the Irish Hospital Consultants Association's #CareCantWait campaign continues to highlight concerns that impact on patient care and service delivery.

A shortage of hospital consultants is extending waiting lists, with the number of medical specialists in Ireland based on population standing at 43% below the EU average – the lowest in Europe.

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly TD said the campaign is helping shine a spotlight into the dark corners of the health service from a clinical perspective.

Currently, there are more than 47,000 children waiting to see a paediatric consultant, a figure which has increased by nearly 15,000 since 2016.

Teachta O'Reilly said: "While size of waiting lists may not always paint the full picture, duration on those lists does. In the same period, the number of children waiting to see a consultant for over 18 months grew by a staggering 11,044.

"The shortage of paediatric consultants across the State is the primary cause of the escalation of these waiting lists to dangerous and nearly unmanaged levels.

"If this is not urgently addressed, the waiting lists and the durations children spend on them will continue to grow out of control."



(JG/CM)

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