Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.02 19 Aug 2019


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New figures show that more than 28,000 women are waiting to see a gynaecologist in Ireland, with almost 5,400 waiting more than a year.

According to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA), the number of women waiting has increased by 40% over the last five years.

The association says the longest wait times are in Dublin - with 3,469 women waiting to see a gynaecologist at the Rotunda Hospital, 3,148 at Tallaght Hospital and 2,099 at the Coombe Hospital.

Elsewhere, Galway University Hospital has 1,898 women waiting, with a figure of 1,783 women reported for Letterkenny General Hospital.

The IHCA claims the consultant recruitment and retention crisis is a major factor in delays.

They suggest many specialists are being driven abroad "where they are highly sought after and valued".

The association says new consultants are being paid up to 51% less than their colleagues despite having the same responsibilities.

Dr Peter Boylan, obstetrician and gynaecologist, has branded Irish waiting lists as "unreasonably long".

He argued: “Unfilled specialist posts making it difficult for women to be seen in a timely fashion.

"Our waiting lists for outpatients are among the worst in the world… and that’s having a really serious effect on their [women’s] health and well-being”.

Meanwhile, Dr Nóirín Russell from Cork University Maternity Hospital says women deserve better.

She told Newstalk Breakfast: "[Some] women are experiencing heavy periods leading to anemia, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain... all of which have a really significant impact on their quality of life.

"These women deserve to be seen by a specialist and get specialist advice to improve their quality of life... but instead they're waiting on a waiting list."

Main image: File photo of Dr Peter Boylan. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images

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