Healthcare News

Healthcare News

While the Covid-19 pandemic has receded and life has returned mostly to normal, it has left a lasting legacy.

A big part of that legacy is of course the impact on the Irish health system and even longer public hospital waiting lists.

Before the pandemic, in February 2020, hospital waiting lists in Ireland were at 758,000 patients.

Now that figure has risen to almost 850,000 patients.

For inpatient or day case treatment alone, the list is around 220,000 people.

Many of these are people waiting for hip or knee replacements, cataract surgery and other care to improve their quality of life.

Whatever about the blame game as to why lists are so long, the fact is they are only going in one direction, despite a raft of initiatives and action plans over the years by various Governments.

The size of the waiting list is only one part of the picture, the other part is the length of time people wait for care, sometimes years.

Over 625,000 people are waiting to be seen for the first time at an outpatient clinic by a consultant.

When they eventually get seen and assessed, many are only then added to the treatment waiting list for an operation.

So there is the list and then the list to get on a list.

Around half of the Irish population has private health cover and can access treatment privately.

Imagine what the national public hospital waiting list would be if fewer people did not have private cover?

When you consider that the Irish population is over 5 million people, a national waiting list of over 850,000 is incredible.