Thousands of sick Dubs are being forced to wait over a year for specialists
Over 26,000 patients have been waiting for more than a year for an outpatient appointment at Dublin hospitals, new figures reveal.
The situation was branded "a national disgrace" by Dublin West councillor Jack Chambers.
Mr Chambers said that the figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) proved that the hospital overcrowding crisis was out of control in Dublin.
"These figures clearly show that thousands of sick people in Dublin who are in need of medical care are being forced to wait over a year to see a specialist.
"It's proof of the extent of the crisis in Dublin's health service. It's a national disgrace," said the Fianna Fail politician.
The figures show the numbers waiting 12 months or more for an out-patient appointment in Dublin hospitals at the end of May and including:
◊ 3,625 patients waiting at Beaumont Hospital
◊ 2,460 at Temple Street Hospital
◊ 1,154 at Connolly Hospital
◊ 1,817 at Crumlin Children's Hospital
◊ 569 at St James's Hospital
◊ 264 at St Vincent's University Hospital
◊ 10,128 at Tallaght Hospital ◊ 2,665 at the Mater Hospital.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that as things stand, more than half of people on the outpatient waiting list were waiting six months or less. Some 35pc of the total outpatient waiting list are waiting three months or less.
"Almost 80pc of the total waiting list are waiting less than one year," he said.
"Eliminating the longest waiting periods for treatment is a key objective for 2015," he said.
At the start of the year, Health Minister Leo Varadkar set new targets to reduce the lengthening waiting times which had applied in 2014, he said.
"These included a maximum permissible waiting time of 18 months by the end of June and 15 months by year end.
"These are not targets, these are maximum permissible waiting times," the spokesman said.
The HSE has also put in place specific measures to address waiting lists, including working with the acute hospitals, he added.