Figures from the Department of Health have revealed that almost 800 children have been on surgery waiting lists for over two years.
These waiting times were significantly worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Health Service Executive (HSE) cyberattack.
The figures show that 36 children were on surgery waiting lists for more than four years, 109 for more than three years and 645 for over two years.
Overall, there is a total of 4,054 children waiting longer than six months on hospital surgery waiting lists.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that waiting times for scheduled appointments and procedures in the last 19 months are a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the HSE cyberattack.
Donnelly stated, “While significant progress was made in reducing waiting times from June 2020 onwards, the surge in Covid-19 cases in the first quarter of 2021 and the associated curtailment of acute hospital services, coupled with the ransomware attack of May 2021, has impacted waiting times,”.
These figures come as the hospital system faces further strain with the number of people in ICU raising to 97 yesterday, while the number of healthcare workers who are out sick due to Covid-19 is approaching 2,000.
IMAGE – Stephen Donnelly (via Twitter)/”Two nurses transporting a bed down a hospital corridor” is licensed under CC BY 4.0