Doctors estimate one in 12 children are now on hospital waiting lists


Doctors have estimated that one in 12 children are now on waiting lists for various types of treatment based on the latest hospital data.

Figures also show that the number of people waiting for surgery in hospitals rose by more than 500 between September and October despite funding being given to the problem.

In total, almost 85,000 children are waiting to see a consultant for the first time on an outpatient basis, although this number has dropped by almost 2,000 in a month.

These are children who have been assessed by their GP as needing a hospital appointment to check for a potentially serious illness.

Overall, there are 614,225 adults and children on outpatient lists, up from 625,673 in September.

However, inpatient numbers have increased, reflecting seriously ill people who are waiting for a date to have an operation or procedure performed in hospital after assessment.

These numbers increased by more than 500 between October and September. The figure for the end of October is a shocking 79,882, down from 79,363 the previous month.

Another 25,829 patients were waiting to receive an appointment for a gastrointestinal endoscopy which can identify certain potential cancers, celiac disease or ulcers.

Hospital waiting lists have received targeted funding in recent months, with a plan launched in February in hopes of reducing problems over several years.

However, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association continues to be extremely concerned. She raised particular concerns about access to care for vulnerable children.

Its analysis of the lists indicates that, despite the government’s goal of reducing waiting lists by 18% by the end of the year, the number of children on the lists has increased by 1,660 (2% ) since January.

The chairman of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association, Professor Robert Landers, said some 98,000 children were now on lists, with one in four waiting more than a year for treatment. He linked this to shortages in the system, particularly of hospital consultants.

“The result is that thousands of children are not getting the care they need in a timely manner and the real possibility that they will suffer from health and developmental issues that could have been reversed or alleviated if only they had been seen. on time.”

He pointed to figures released by Dublin Children’s Hospital earlier this week showing 266 children are on active and suspended waiting lists for scoliosis-related surgeries.

This is an increase of 21 children (9%) since the start of the year, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association found.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund also separately registers patients who have received treatment and are awaiting follow-up treatment if required; this amounts to 93,730.

Another 55,579 patients are classified as suspended.

This category refers to a variety of patients, including those whose care has been outsourced to private hospitals, people too sick to have surgery possibly due to Covid-19, and people who have canceled their surgeries for other reasons.

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