Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte says new figures on waiting times for children are a damning indictment of the Health Minister’s record in office.

“It’s simply inexcusable that for example 2,069 children are waiting over a year to see a heart specialist – indeed more than half of them are waiting over 18 months.

“The lists for ophthalmology are even worse with 2,277 waiting to see an eye specialist for more than a year.”, said Deputy Rabbitte.

“Overall, an analysis of latest waiting list figures reveals a total of 54,789 children waiting for an appointment – 17,639 of them for more than a year and 10,541 for over 18 months. It’s genuinely shocking that children are waiting so long just to have an outpatient consultation.

“Despite these ever increasing waiting lists and waiting times, there appears to be no sense of urgency in addressing this issue. You would think a twelvefold increase in the space of two years would generate an increase in activity, but Fine Gael seems content to allow waiting lists for both adults and children.

“The long promised 2018 Outpatient Action Plan has still not been published and we’re more than half way through the year. These lengthy lists are having a detrimental impact on children. It’s a scandalous situation and cannot be tolerated any longer”.

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