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As revealed by RTÉ News, just under 215,000 children are on waiting lists for healthcare services in Ireland, which has been described as an “appalling situation”.

The figures show that children are left waiting for healthcare services that they desperately need, with more than one in four waiting for longer than a year for these services. There is also a postcode lottery throughout Ireland in terms of waiting times.

Statistics revealed that there are currently 90,000 children waiting for community healthcare services, including 19,000 children waiting for speech and language therapy. Of the children on these waiting lists, 2,000 have been waiting for longer than a year and 300 more than two years.

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Additionally, the figures show large variations in waiting lists, depending on where the children live. For example, North Dublin has the largest waiting times in Ireland, with 2,400 children in the queue. In contrast, there are zero children on a waiting list for speech and language therapy for Dublin South East.

Furthermore, there are more than 7,000 children and teenagers waiting to see a psychologist, and 117,000 children on hospital waiting lists.

Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on health Stephen Donnelly, who obtained the figures in response to a series of parliamentary questions, said they were shocking and a dark stain on the country. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Stephen described it as an “appalling situation”.

“More and more parents have been coming to me who are waiting for over a year for surgery,” he said. “Parents who are coming to me with children with special needs and who desperately need supports.”

According to RTÉ, in response to the shocking figures, the Health Service Executive (HSE) said it was fully committed to tackling long waiting times.

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