'Ridiculously long' gynaecology waiting list 'appalling' - Harris
Health Minister Simon Harris has said that a 4,000-plus patient waiting list at one of Ireland's biggest gynaecology hospitals was "absolutely appalling and unacceptable".
Mr Harris confirmed that he would provide whatever funding was required to slash the waiting list and cut treatment times at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH).
His vow came after it emerged patients faced almost double the waiting time for gynaecology services in Cork than those in Dublin.
Some were waiting almost two years for appointments.
CUMH confirmed last week that it now had 4,365 women on outpatient waiting lists.
Some 40pc of those women are waiting more than a year for an appointment - and 20pc are waiting for more than 18 months, some for potentially life-saving treatments.
"Women in this region (are) not getting access to gynaecological services they should be absolutely able to expect," Mr Harris said.
"The waiting lists are ridiculously long - (these are) unacceptably long waiting lists. This is 4,000 women, often waiting in pain.
"When did it become acceptable in this country that women have to wait up to two years for certain procedures that could indeed lead to life-saving treatments?
"It is absolutely appalling and unacceptable."