Over 5,600 patients in Limerick are waiting four years or more for an outpatient appointment to see a doctor, figures from the HSE show.
At the end of February, the Mid-Western Regional Orthopaedic Hospital, Croom, 20km from Limerick city, had 4,148 patients waiting four years or more.
At the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle, the city suburbs, another 1,473 patients were waiting for an outpatient appointment.
These figures are enormous in comparison with hospitals such as Cork University Hospital, which has just 60 patients waiting four years or more to see a consultant. The much smaller South Infirmary in Cork has 206 patients waiting four years or more. University Hospital Galway has 602.
Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea said: “[People] are suffering hugely because of these waiting lists as they wait in pain for knee and hip operations.
“Conditions there are appalling too. One woman was on to me yesterday that she was put into a ward in between two men. That is just not acceptable. There is a serious problem of a lack of leadership and organisation in the hospital and the wider HSE.”
The HSE performance report also shows that:
*Galway University Hospital (GUH) has 4,369 patients waiting 2-3 years to get an appointment.
*Cork University Hospital has 4,111 waiting 1-2 years for an appointment.
*Waterford Regional Hospital has 6,357 waiting 1-2 years and 3,162 patients waiting 2-3 years
The hospitals with the longest overall outpatient waiting lists are:
*GUH with some 41,035 patients.
*Waterford Regional with 28,625 patients.
*Tallaght Hospital with a total of 26,119 patients.
* Limerick Regional with 23,098 patients.
*CUH with 22,944.
HSE West says it expects to make “significant improvements” in the outpatient waiting list for services at the orthopaedic hospital in Croom by the end of this month.
It aims to have the entire list validated by the end of May and have no patient waiting for an orthopaedic appointment longer than a year by the end of November.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved