'Waiting lists have a huge impact on quality of life.'
New figures have revealed that 1,773 women are waiting to see a gynaecologist at Letterkenny University Hospital.
The number of women waiting for a gynaecological outpatient appointment nationally is now almost 30,000 (29,152).
The number of women waiting for an initial assessment has increased by 43% since 2014.
Ireland has the third highest fertility rate in the EU, but less than half the EU average number of specialists in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
A group of leading Irish consultants have united to speak out on the impact of waiting times and consultant shortages on Irish patients.
Dr Rhona Mahony, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Director of Women’s Health at Ireland East Hospital Group said the figures on gynaecology care are distressing for women:
“Waiting lists have a huge impact on quality of life. There are so many simple procedures that can change a life and radically improve a patient’s quality of life. Not to be able to offer that to patients, in a country like Ireland, is really quite distressing, mainly for patients, but also for those charged with giving care.”
The Irish Hospital Consultant Association (IHCA) is calling on the government to act to address consultant shortages across our health services.
The IHCA believes that the lack of access and increasing wait times are being exacerbated by the fact that almost 1 in 5 permanent consultant posts in our public health service are either unfilled or filled by temporary appointments. Added to this, Ireland has the lowest level in the EU of consultants working in our health service (43% below the EU average).