Fianna Fail is calling it a 'national scandal'

Fianna Fáil says the number of people on healthcare waiting lists is now close to one million.

It says the total includes 148 thousand people who've been waiting over one year to see a consultant.

The total's based on figures provided by the HSE and the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

The party's calling the situation 'a national scandal'.

Health Minister Simon Harris will later today launch the implementation strategy for Slaintecare.

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary says delays to the programme are part of the problem in our health service:

"A lot of these waiting lists can be dealt with by the Government taking Slaintecare seriously. Slaintecare is the all-party document agreed by everybody in Leinster house as the map for the Irish health service.

Agreed in 2016 yet it's only in the past few weeks that the Government has appointed somebody to direct Slaintecare."