News

9th April 2021

Ongoing Government failure to address chronic consultant recruitment crisis leaves almost a million waiting for care

Acute hospital figures at tipping point - as Covid restrictions and vaccine roll out strive to reduce daily case numbers, non-Covid care waiting lists skyrocket.  Hospital Consultants call for Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD to uphold his commitment to address root cause of 728 vacant consultant posts and subsequent record waiting lists.  Lack of resolution to the consultant recruitment and retention crisis has contributed to some hospitals experiencing a 100% increase in inpatient waiting lists in the last year alone and a total of 881,621 now waiting for care, nationally.  IHCA President Prof Alan Irvine: “Last October, the IHCA welcomed the ‘unambiguous commitment’ by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD to address the root causes of Ireland’s chronic consultant recruitment and retention crisis, including the restoration of full pay parity. Failure to uphold that commitment and to engage in meaningful discussions with hospital consultants have contributed to an addition of 38,258 people to hospital waiting lists in the period since. While the Minister has worked to reduce Covid sickness and death since October, he and his officials must look to address the unacceptable delays in providing care to non-Covid patients and ever-growing waiting lists.”
12th March 2021

Almost 877,000 people now waiting to see a specialist or receive care, as hospital waiting lists continue to increase

876,968 people now on some form of NTPF waiting list;  Large increases in outpatient waiting lists for General surgery (34%, +11,412), Orthopaedics (17%, +10,951), Gynaecology (13%, +3,622) and Dermatology (12%, +4,888); 56% increase in the number of patients waiting for hospital pain relief treatment since pandemic began; over 1,700 now waiting longer than a year for treatment – more than a three-fold increase since February 2020; While 153,000 fewer outpatient public hospital appointments now expected in 2021 through National Service Plan;  Lack of a plan to fill over 700 permanent consultant posts. IHCA President Prof Alan Irvine: “Today’s NTPF waiting list figures, which confirm almost 877,000 people are now on some form of NTPF waiting list, again highlight the impact of hospital consultant shortages and capacity constraints on those waiting for an outpatient appointment and related treatment. Timely access to care is vital in ensuring effective treatment and care for patients.” 
15th January 2021

Irish Hospital Consultants Association comment on latest National Treatment Purchase Fund waiting list figures

Commenting on the latest National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) waiting list figures, Professor Alan Irvine, President, Irish Hospital Consultants Association, said: 
11th December 2020

Growth in surgical waiting times is leaving patients at risk, as failure to fill over 700 consultant posts remains unresolved

9,248 added to adult general surgery outpatient waiting list in 2020; 4,133 more waiting over a year to see a consultant since start of year, an increase of 152%;  Paediatric surgery outpatient list has more than doubled since start of the year, with 2,107 more children waiting to see a hospital consultant; 2,419 (25%) additional patients waiting for inpatient/day case general surgery; 40% increase in paediatric surgery inpatient/day case waiting list since the start of the year; More than a fifth of all hospital consultant posts are now vacant or not filled as needed.  IHCA President Prof Alan Irvine: “Today’s NTPF waiting list figures again highlight the impact of hospital consultant shortages and capacity constraints on those waiting for an outpatient appointment and related surgery and treatment. Each statistic represents a person waiting for the care they desperately need, while potentially deteriorating clinically or living in pain.” 
13th November 2020

Filling over 500 vacant consultant posts is key solution to delays in providing timely care to 845,000 on waiting lists

79,000 added to waiting lists since start of 2020, as 844,719 patients now wait for care; 612,817 outpatients are waiting for a consultant appointment, an increase of over 235,000 compared with 2014 and 59,383 during 2020; Direct correlation between record number of people waiting for outpatient appointments and long-standing hospital consultant vacancies. Increased wait times adversely impact patient outcomes in key areas of care;  Over 18,000 patients now waiting over a year for essential inpatient/day case treatment – more than double the number at the start of 2020. IHCA President Professor Alan Irvine: “Key to bringing down wait times continues to be more consultants and hospital capacity to care for patients.”
9th October 2020

IHCA comments on the fact that 843,363 people are now waiting for care

Commenting on the fact that 843,363 people are now waiting for care, Prof Alan Irvine, President, Irish Hospital Consultants Association, said: 
11th September 2020

Government must provide plans to prepare for ‘winter like no other’, says new IHCA President as waiting lists increase

Latest rise in patient waiting times comes the same day NPHET warns of the high likelihood of insufficient staffing levels to respond to service demands. 9,634 added to public outpatient waiting list in August, as 841,459 now on various NTPF waiting lists; 9.5% increase in the number of those waiting for care since the beginning of 2020;  Consultants warn that promise of ‘winter plan’ is an inadequate response and that immediate funded plan to tackle capacity deficits is needed;  New IHCA President elected at critical time for hospital consultants as health system braces for ‘winter like no other’.  IHCA President Professor Alan Irvine: “We still do not have a winter plan and it remains unclear what increased public hospital capacity will be provided…If significantly increased capacity is not urgently provided to prepare for the extraordinary winter surge due to COVID-19 and other demand increases, then it will simply be too late.”
10th July 2020

Hospital waiting lists could be missing thousands of people who delayed hospital assessment or referral during pandemic

Over 300,000 fewer outpatient appointments in March, April and May 2020 compared with 2019 means thousands of patients have postponed seeking care and referrals to hospitals for appointment;  Hidden increase in waiting lists due to reduction of non-emergency and non-COVID-19 care in acute hospitals during pandemic;  Number of inpatients treated decreased by around 43,000 and day case procedures fell by almost 128,000 over same period compared with last year;  816,716 people are now waiting on some form of NTPF waiting list, an increase of 47,952 since the start of 2020.  The Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) has today, Friday, 10 July 2020 warned that the number of people who need acute hospital care could be greater than reported. 
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