April 12, 2021
News

EXCLUSIVE: 750 women waiting on consultant gynaecologist appointment in Kilkenny

BY COLIN BARTLEY

THERE are 750 women in Kilkenny waiting for a gynaecology outpatient appointment or waiting on a further appointment after the initial referral.

St. Luke’s General Hospital has 425 women waiting for a gynaecology outpatient appointment. A further 336 have been seen by a consultant and referred on for further inpatient care. They are still waiting for an appointment.

This is according to figures released by the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA). They say there is a consultant crisis in the country and it is having a ‘serious effect’ on delivery of women’s healthcare.

The figures show there has been a 40% increase in the number of women waiting to see a gynaecologist in five years. There are now 28,417 women waiting to see a gynaecologist nationally, with 5,394 waiting more than 12 months

Dr Peter Boylan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist said it is an unacceptable situation and is very detrimental to women’s health.

“Unfilled specialist posts are making it difficult for women to be seen in a timely fashion. Our waiting lists for outpatients are among the worst in the world…and that’s having a really serious effect on their [women’s]health and well-being.

“The consultant retention and recruitment crisis is having a serious effect on the delivery of healthcare to women across Ireland.”

According to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, almost 100 consultant positions, or 20% of the positions nationwide, are unfilled.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform report published in the last week confirmed that new consultants are being paid less than half the amount of their existing consultant colleagues despite having the same demanding responsibilities.

The IHCA is calling on the Government to restore pay parity for new consultants before it causes even longer delays in treating patients.

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