Long-Term Waits For Appointments At UHL Jump By 40%

There’s been an almost 40% rise in the number of people facing long-term waits for outpatient appointments at the region’s main hospital in the past 12 months.

But there’s been a drop in inpatient appointment waits in that same period.

It comes as the Health Minister has published a plan, which aims to cut down on these waiting lists, as Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports:


As of the end of February, over 32,700 patients were waiting on outpatient appointments at University Hospital Limerick – 7,105 of those waiting 18 months or more.

That’s a 39% rise in the space of 12 months in terms of long-term waits; while the numbers awaiting inpatient appointments dropped by a quarter in that time to just over 2,000.

At Ennis General, there was a marginal increase in both inpatient and outpatient waiting lists in the past year, though there was a 10% drop in those waiting at least a year and a half on an outpatient appointment.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund figures come as Health Minister Simon Harris has published the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 to improve Acute Hospital Waiting Times.

It will mean treatment will be offered to all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months for high volume procedures, including cataracts and joint replacements, in an effort to reduce the lists.

James Mulhall, Clare FM, first for local news.