Statistics released by the Department of Health show an increase in the number of children and teenagers awaiting ophthalmology services in the Galway region.
Figures released to Aontú following a written question to the Department show that as of December 2020, there are 3,062 children and teenagers awaiting treatment or appointments for eye-related issues in Galway.
This compares with a figure of 2,476 for the same month in 2019, and 1,432 for December 2018.
Aontú representative for Galway East Joe Campbell said that the figures released to his party show that some of these young people have been left waiting for up to 200 weeks.
“A trend is evident from these statistics, that the waiting lists are getting longer and longer with each year that passes,” said Joe Campbell.
“We need increased investments in our hospitals and health centres in Galway, or else next year’s figures will be even worse again.
“No child should be left waiting four years for eye treatments, assessments or surgeries.”
The Aontú representative called on the government not to neglect rural Ireland and rural children, and to ensure regional balance when it comes to spending on healthcare.
“The statistics are simply unacceptable”, said Mr Campbell.