‘We are beyond crisis point’ – Kilkenny TD reacts to waiting lists for child consultants
By COLIN BARTLEY
THE number of children on waiting lists to see consultants proves the health service “is beyond crisis point” according to a Kilkenny TD.
Figures released this week show there are 47,255 children waiting to see a paediatrician for an outpatient appointment.
Of these 19,000 are waiting over a year to see a consultant.
Kilkenny TD and Sinn Féin’s Children and Youth Affairs Spokesperson Kathleen Funchion TD said she is shocked by the figures.
“We are beyond crisis point.
“While these figures are shocking, the numbers still do not represent the full picture of the crisis with many more children being hidden by the fact that the state does not maintain child-specific waiting lists.
“It is scandalous that thousands of children remain hidden on waiting lists for urgent care across the HSE, all counted as adults,” the Kilkenny TD said.
The figures released by the Irish Hospital Consultants Association’s (IHCA) ‘Care Can’t Wait’ campaign, also show serious waiting lists for ENT -8,000, paediatric cardiologist – 5,165, orthopaedics – 3,735, and paediatric surgeon – 1,989.
The IHCA said waiting lists at the hospital group had increased by over 46pc since June 2016.
Almost 8,000 children are waiting for a paediatric ENT specialist, with 5,165 waiting to see a paediatric cardiologist.
The number waiting to see a specialist in orthopaedics is 3,735, while 1,989 are waiting to see a paediatric surgeon.
Currently, one in five permanent consultant posts in the public health service is either unfilled or filled by temporary appointments, an issue Ms Funchion says needs to be addressed.
“Paediatric consultant shortages are the main reason behind these waiting lists. This needs to be addressed immediately as a national priority in light of these shocking new figures released by the IHCA.”