One in five consultant positions remain vacant, according to IHCA
Waiting lists for children to see a hospital consultant have grown to 100,000 with many facing a wait of up to 14 years, according to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association.
The association says Ireland is 'an outlier' in Europe in terms of healthcare, with almost 1 million people in the country now on a waiting list to see a hospital consultant for diagnosis, treatment and care.
"That's one fifth of the entire population," the IHCA said this week.
"The number of patients on a hospital waiting list is growing to unacceptable levels," they state.
"Without action it could take as long as 14 years to reduce current waiting lists to a manageable level," the IHCA said.
They said 208 people have been added to hospital waiting lists every day, over the past year.
That's almost 9 people added per hour, 24 hours a day, the IHCA said.
"A root cause of this problem is that Irish hospitals simply do not have the medical staff or beds required, to treat these patients in a timely manner.
"Ireland has the lowest number of hospital consultants per 100,000 people in the EU," the IHCA said.
Hospital waiting lists are at unmanageable levels. Last year almost 9 people were added every hour, 24 hours a day, to a waiting list.@DonnellyStephen@MichealMartinTD @LeoVaradkar @paulreiddublin how many more patients will be added before there is firm action? #CareCantWait pic.twitter.com/cjW2b61PiR— IHCA (@IHCA_IE) October 8, 2021
The association said while the Irish public health service produces some of the most highly trained medical specialists, "poor working conditions and continued pay discrimination are forcing many doctors to emigrate and practise abroad".
They say this means that as many as one in five hospital consultant positions in Ireland are vacant.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.