Over 48,000 children on Irish hospital waiting lists in August
There were more than 48,000 children waiting for treatment or to be seen in Irish hospitals at the end of August.
Over 16,000 of the children have been waiting over a year to get an appointment, new figures from the National Treatment Purchase Plan show.
It came as waiting lists figures for Irish hospitals reached record levels of almost three quarters of a million.
Across the country, 718,165 people were on hospital waiting lists by the end of the month.
The vast majority of these people were outpatients - 514,585 in total, while the numbers of those waiting for inpatient or day procedures hit 74,189.
Almost half of those on the outpatient list and over 30,000 of those on inpatient lists have been waiting for over six months.
Close to 12,000 patients were 'suspended' from waiting lists for various reasons.
Galway University Hospital had the longest list of delays for outpatient, inpatient and day procedures of any hospital in the country last month with over 50,000 people waiting.
There were over 36,500 people on outpatient waiting lists at University Hospital Waterford, meanwhile.
The biggest area of outpatient delays was otolaryngology (diseases of the ear, nose and throat) with over 66,000 people waiting.
Orthopaedic care came in second with over 63,000 waiting.
Overcrowding plays a big role in the delays patients face in hospitals, Stephen McMahon of the Irish Patients Association has said.
"If you can sort out the emergency department overcrowding, that means then that patients who have been on elective lists waiting for the hip replacement or other treatments can actually get access on the day that it was planned and that they don't get a last minute cancellation much to their detriment and indeed whatever family arrangements they may have had," he told The Irish Examiner.