The number of children who’ve been waiting over 18 months for an outpatient appointment, in the state’s children’s hospitals, has risen by 41% since the Covid19 pandemic began.
The Irish Medical Organisation says it’s ‘very concerning’.
Children’s Health Ireland runs the children’s hospitals in Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght, and the paediatric and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.
At the end of last month, there were 44,470 children waiting for their first outpatient consultation in these four Dublin hospitals.
14,153 are waiting at least a year and a half – compared to 10,053 last February.
That’s an increase of over 4,000.
Dr Denis McCauley is the chairman of the Irish Medical Organisation’s GP sub-committee and says “I think it is very concerning and it just reflects the issues we have with waiting lists generally since the Covid crisis unfortunately during the Covid crisis there was essentially a cancelling of a number of paediatric patients for quite some time and then unfortunately when we have restarted the actual capacity we have has reduced”.
Children’s Health Ireland says it regrets children and their families are experiencing long waiting times.
It says it’s making every effort to address the issue.