According to reports, more than half of patients waiting for a first consultant appointment in Northern Ireland are still waiting longer than a year.
Health Minister Robin Swann has apologised for the long waiting lists, with the Royal College of Surgeons describing the figures as "devastating". Data has revealed 348,867 people are currently waiting for a first appointment, with fifty-three percent (184,873) found waiting 52 weeks or more.
"It's not where we want them to be - we don't want people waiting that long because it actually increases demand on our health service the longer people are waiting. This is about changing the direction of the underinvestment, not just in the health service but also in our workforce, so it takes time." Said Mr Swann.
Source: BBC News (Northern Ireland), 26 August 2021
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