Scale of Galway’s hospital waiting list crisis revealed


More than 53,000 people are on inpatient, day case and outpatient waiting lists in Galway’s three public hospitals – which equates to one in every five people across the city and county.

And Galway University Hospitals (which comprise University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park) have the worst record in the Republic of Ireland – with more than 39,000 people waiting for their first outpatient appointment with a consultant and a further 10,450 on the inpatient/day case waiting list (patients waiting for an appointment date for their treatment).

There are more people on the GUH waiting lists (both outpatient and inpatient) than any of the other 43 public hospitals in the country.

This week, the Connacht Tribune publishes the full breakdown for outpatient, inpatient and day case waiting lists in all specialities at Galway’s three public hospitals – UHG, Merlin Park and Portiuncula.

The latest figures – which are compiled by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) – show that more than 5,600 people are waiting more than 18 months for their first appointment to see a consultant.

For the two city hospitals alone – the number of people waiting more than 18 months has jumped by more than 60% over the past year.

Galway West TD Noel Grealish described the increase in those facing lengthy waits as “disturbing”.

The Saolta University Healthcare Group, which operates Galway’s public hospitals, said: “Capacity restrictions, both from a clinical and a physical space point of view, are two of the most significant challenges faced by GUH.

“Every effort is made to maximise capacity and to ensure patients are treated as quickly with additional clinics being set up as and when possible.”

See full breakdown on waiting lists in this week’s Connacht Tribune.