According to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA), over 100,000 children are currently waiting for hospital treatment which is 584 more than this time last year.
They stated that nearly 40,000 children have been on lists for longer than a year and that the shortage in hospital consultants at paediatric specialties is heavily contributing to the vast waiting lists.
It added that more than 95,000 children are in some form of National Treatment Purchase Fund while waiting to be treated or seen by a consultant.
As a result of the cyberattack on the HSE, the figures only go as far as the 13th of May. In total, there are 885,189 people on waiting lists who are awaiting treatment or are waiting to seen by a consultant with almost 1 in 9 being children.
Another 7,698 children were in the Inpatient/Day Case waiting list by mid-May which includes 4,235 children waiting for day case treatment. Over 30% of the children who are in the Inpatient/Day Case list have been waiting longer than a year for their treatment.
The IHCA added that the figure does not include children who are waiting for hospital diagnostics which is an additional 8,000 awaiting CTs, MRIs or ultrasounds, which brings the total number to over 100,000.
IHCA President Professor Alan Irvine stated, “The early year’s in a child’s life are critically important to their lifelong health and development. With more than 100,000 children waiting for hospital treatment, our health service is failing our youngest patients during these essential, formative years by making them wait for essential treatment and care.”
He added that the issue is solvable by filling the 1 in 5 permanent hospital consultant posts that are unfilled and appointing significant additional consultants.