Large reduction in colonoscopy waiting times at Letterkenny General

There has been a huge reduction in patients waiting three months or more for a colonoscopy to check for bowel cancer at Letterkenny General Hospital.

According to the Irish Cancer Society the number has gone from almost 50 last year to single figures in 2011 - however at Sligo General Hospital there has been a significant increase in waiting times.

Nationally, the new figures show that 1,854 patients are waiting three months or more for a colonoscopy to check for bowel cancer.

According to the Irish Cancer Society, the figures represent an increase of 848 compared with the figures for March last year.

At Letterkenny General Hospital there were 49 people listed as waiting 3 to 6 months for a colonoscopy in March of 2010, however in February the figure had been reduced to just 2.

At Sligo General Hospital the situation is very different - 154 people are waiting in excess of 3 months for a colonoscopy, of that total 33 are waiting more than 6 months with 2 waiting over a year.

The waiting time figures were supplied to the ICS by the National Treatment Purchase Fund.