A Donegal man suffering with an intensely painful condition has been told he must wait 25 months for his first consultation appointment.
Damien Sweeney, from Convoy, told a Sunday Newspaper that he's been struggling with chronic sciatica for four months, but will have to wait over two years for an appointment at the orthopedics department in Letterkenny University Hospital.
The HSE's target is to achieve a maximum waiting time of 15 months for hospital appointments.
The 40-year-old told the Irish Sunday Mirror that he struggles to sleep at night, is in almost constant pain and is forced to use a number of strong painkillers, including a morphine patch on a daily basis.
It emerged last week that almost 500,000 people are awaiting treatment or assessment in public hospitals across the country.
Asked how he felt about the two year waiting time, Mr Sweeney stressed he attaches no blame to staff at Letterkenny University Hospital, but said his experience is typical of what Ireland has become.
A Saolta Hospital Group spokesperson said individual patient cases cannot be discussed, but added any
patient with concerns should raise them with their medical team or hospital management.”
Under the Service Plan 2016 the HSE is aiming for a 95% compliance rate for 15 month waiting times, the paper says the current compliance rate is 94%.