Ireland's hospital waiting lists have increased by more than 10% over the past year.
There are now 564,829 people waiting for inpatient or outpatient treatment across the country with almost 2,000 people more waiting on an outpatient appointment at Letterkenny University Hospital since the beginning of the year.
This overall national figure is 53,000 more than at the same time last year and 200,000 more than in 2014.
Latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show that last month, there were 17,831 people on outpatient waiting lists at Letterkenny University Hospital, up 12% since January and up 16% compared to the same period last year.
At Sligo University Hospital there were 16,643 people on outpatient waiting lists by the end of August 2019.
"What we have seen this month is that we are now setting a new record high with 564,000 people waiting for outpatient appointments," Dr Gabrielle Colleran, from the Irish Hospital Consultants' Association stated.
"That is an average of almost 7,000 new patients being added each month to these waiting lists.
"We just can't accept it. All Irish people have a right to timely access to high-quality care.
Meanwhile, the daily national trolley figure was higher every day in August than the same day in 2018, with an average daily total 28% higher than last year.
The worst affected hospitals this month were:
University Hospital Limerick: 1,197
Cork University Hospital: 1,051
University Hospital Galway: 655
South Tipperary General Hospital: 597
University Hospital Waterford: 561
INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “This is the tragic ongoing reality in Ireland’s health service. To see nearly 10,000 patients on trolleys is bad in itself, but this is a summer month. These figures signal an even more dangerous winter, when extra demands are typically placed on hospitals.
“At the core of the problem is staffing, as there are well over 1,300 nursing and midwifery vacancies across the This is no time for recruitment bans. Vacancies need to be filled so that patients get the care they need. The HSE’s recruitment ban has got to go.”
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