Almost 4,400 women are waiting on gynaecological appointments across Ireland, according to Kildare South TD Patricia Ryan.
She has called on the government to act over the major backlog, after she obtained figures from her Sinn Fein colleague Sorcha Clarke, following a parliamentary question.
“The figures provided by the Minister for Health show that there are currently 30,180 women on waiting lists for gynaecological appointments in Irish hospitals. Of these, 14,571 (48.2%) have been waiting for longer than 6 months and 8,223 (27.25%) have been waiting for longer than a year," said Ms Ryan.
“Most shockingly of all, 4,372 women have been waiting over 18 months. This is beyond concerning and is astonishingly dangerous. Portlaoise Hospital which serves my area of Kildare South has the 5th highest waiting lists in the state with 1,690 women waiting for gynaecological appointments.
“Shockingly 459 of these women are waiting over 18 months for an appointment in Portlaoise Hospital. This is the 3rd highest figure out of all the hospitals in the state."
She stressed that at a time when the country has the breast check backlog, the cervical smear test backlog and recruitment concerns, women need assurance that their health needs will be met.
“Most of these delays, but not all, were caused by the curtailment of services due to Covid. This is understandably unavoidable to a certain extent, but as I’ve stated previously, we have a perfect storm brewing for a crisis in women’s health which has been exacerbated by a failure to invest and this further adds to the risk. Whatever resources are needed should be immediately put in place to avert this potential crisis before it is too late."