The Taoiseach says hospital waiting list figures contain "a lot of double counting"

The co-leader of the Social Democrats has warned that the health service must produce data that we can trust after the Taoiseach questioned the reported number of people on hospital waiting lists.

Figures released by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on Thursday evening suggest that over 700,000 people are waiting for treatment in Irish hospitals.

The data is released across nine separate lists and yesterday, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar cast doubt on the headline figures – insisting they contain “a lot of double counting.”

This afternoon, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said it is essential that the health service publishes data that we can trust.

“We have very little data about the health service,” she said.

“It is dysfunctional in lots of ways and what we need to is to reform it.

“The Taoiseach was talking about whether we can believe the waiting lists data and there is a problem there with data in the health service.

“But we also know that the reality is that very large numbers of people – whatever that exact number is – very large numbers of people are waiting for services.”