The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has been insisting recently that hospital waiting lists for treatment are on the decline but the statistics do not really bear that out.

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has been insisting recently that hospital waiting lists for treatment are on the decline but the statistics do not really bear that out.

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has been insisting recently that hospital waiting lists for treatment are on the decline but the statistics do not really bear that out.

There has been a small fall in the numbers but really just in the order of a few hundred patients.

The overall picture remains gloomy.

Latest monthly data from the National Treatment Purchase Fund puts the overall waiting lists for hospital treatment at over 831,300 patients.

That is the figure for March, down just 365 patients on the February figures.

These figures do not include around 200,000 people waiting for a radiology check after which many can expect to be put on hospital waiting lists for treatment.

There are over 85,000 people waiting to get an appointment date for a day procedure or inpatient surgery.

Another 594,800 people are waiting to be seen at an outpatient clinic by a consultant for assessment.

Some hospitals are doing better than others but the big city hospitals are under huge pressure.

The Government target is to cut national waiting lists by 10% this year.

That is a modest target cut but even that may not be achieved.

Patients are faced with other options, like getting healthcare abroad which can be funded by the HSE, or even going private.