Over half a million people waiting for outpatient appointments

The Department of Health says it has fallen behind on targets to reduce waiting lists in the first two months of the year.

At the moment there are 516,000 people waiting for an outpatient appointment and more than 70,000 waiting for inpatient day cases.

The Department has committed to reducing those lists by around 10,000.

In a plan published today, the Minister for Health says there has been significant improvement in waiting times for operations and procedures.

However, Simon Harris admits that planned activity for January and February this year is behind target and waiting lists are higher than projected.

He says the HSE will deliver 1.1 million elective hospital procedures this year as well as more than one million new outpatient appointments.

The plan commits to reducing the 70,000 people waiting for procedures to 60,000 and to cutting the numbers waiting for an outpatient appointment from 516,000 to under 509,000.

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