Hospital waiting lists hit record high in October

The number is an increase of 27,000 since May

Hospital waiting lists hit record high in October

Photocall file photo

Hospital waiting lists reached a new record high of over 500,000 people last month.

That is an increase of 27,000 since May, when Simon Harris became health minister.

Figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund show 439,000 are outpatients, with more than 80,000 waiting for over a year.

But 88%of all adult patients are treated within the national target of 15 months, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Liam Doran is general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).

He says it shows the health service is underfunded and under-resourced.

"We won't tackle the waiting lists without additional investment in health - and that means additional bed capacity, additional diagnostic facilities and additional staff.

"Until the Government realises that, those waiting list figures will continue to creep up and the division in Irish society - where the public patient has to wait and the private patient is able to get fast-track access - will only increase in frequency.

"And that's absolutely wrong and its immoral".