What is there to say, really? New figures provided to the Irish Independent show that not only is one in every five citizens in the country waiting for some form of health treatment, but that – get this – 174,000 people are waiting longer than a year.

As my colleague John points out, Fine Gael has increased health spending by 70% year on year since it came to power. An extra €7billion is being spent – that’s two national children’s hospitals – every single year under this Government. So this is not a question of money – waiting lists were never this high, even at the height of the recession in 2009 and 2010, when money was much scarcer. It is clearly a question of competence.

The figures – a total of 1.124 million people on some form of waiting list – were compiled by Fianna Fáil through a series of questions to the HSE.

In May of 2016, the total waiting on treatment was 925,578. In May of 2014 it was 747,271. 

That’s an increase of nearly 400,000 people since 2014, and an almost exact increase of 200,000 people since Simon Harris became Minister for Health in 2016.

All of this, by the way, after the expenditure of nearly €4million on consultant reports about how to make the health service better.

Again – It’s a question of basic competence: