Speaking this afternoon Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said Department of Health figures released to Sinn Féin show that there are 7,586 children on hospital waiting lists to see a specialist in Tallaght hospital.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The information regarding children’s waiting lists released to Sinn Féin by the Department of Health leaves the Minister for Health and the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) with huge questions to answer over how they present the number of children on hospital waiting lists.

“The figures released to Sinn Féin have shown that there are actually 86,625 children waiting to see a specialist in hospitals across the state – almost double the supposed official figure of 46,000.

“In Tallaght hospital there are a staggering 7,586 children waiting to see a specialist with 2,825 of these waiting over a year.

“The release of this information justifies the questioning of many parents, campaigners, and politicians who questioned the official figures and said there were many ‘hidden children’ awaiting to see a specialist but were being counted on adult hospital waiting lists.

“In particular, there are huge problems regarding waiting lists for the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) speciality. 997 children are waiting over 18 months to see a paediatric ENT specialist.

“The waiting lists for children in Tallaght hospital are huge and it is only now following answers to Sinn Féin’s parliamentary questions that we are seeing their true extent.”