Five hundred permanent consultant posts are vacant because of the government's inaction.
That's according to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association.
It's reacting to the news that, in June, 560,000 people were waiting for a hospital appointment - up 3,800 on the month before.
The IFCA's Martin Varley says the problem would be solved if the 500 vacant positions were filled.
He says these are posts that are funded and approved but government conditions mean qualified consultants are taking up posts abroad instead.
Martin Varley believes the government needs to employ new consultants on an equal footing to that of their colleagues.