Over 46,400 adults and children are waiting for hospital treatment, according to new figures from the Health Service Executive.

There are 15,206 patients waiting for inpatient care and 31,254 patients waiting for day-case procedures, according to the latest performance report from the HSE.

The figures include newly referred patients, those waiting less than three months, who are not normally included in the waiting list figures.

The figures represent an increase of over 5,400 patients waiting, compared with the same time last year.

The hospitals with the largest inpatient waiting lists are Galway University Hospitals with 1,822 patients, the Mater Hospital with 1,353, Beaumont Hospital with 1,064, Cork University Hospital with 1,005 and Waterford Regional with 911.

The hospitals with the largest day-case waiting lists are Galway University Hospitals (4,196), the Mater Hospital (2,757), St James's Hospital (2,669) and Beaumont Hospital (2,592).

No figures are provided in the report for the number of patients waiting for an outpatient consultation.

Around 3m outpatient attendances take place each year.

The HSE has said that a major effort is being made to cut waiting lists across the country.

It said that a number of clinically-led national programmes have been set up, in areas such as neurology, orthopaedics and dermatology.

It added that one of the key objectives is to remove waiting lists.

The Irish Hospital Consultants Association has said that waiting lists for inpatient and day care procedures have increased by 16% compared with the same time last year.

It said this was resulting in patients suffering and some facing a deterioration in their condition.

IHCA President Dr Margo Wrigley said that delays can result in patients having to be admitted as emergencies.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund said that waiting times rather than the numbers waiting are a better indicator of the health system.

It said that the average waiting time across all specialties in the public system was 2.5 months.