Management and consultants at Cork University Maternity Hospital have presented separate plans to Minister for Health Simon Harris to deal with a backlog of more than 4,000 women who are waiting for appointments to see a gynaecologist.

The waiting list is more than double that of any other maternity hospital in the country, and consultants have warned that delayed diagnoses of cancer are inevitable unless the list is reduced.

CUMH is an integrated part of the Cork University Hospital Group. Both hospitals are located within the same campus.

It was opened in 2007 and its waiting lists are now huge. More than 4,200 women are waiting to see a gynaecologist there, with 40% waiting over a year.

Another 500 women are waiting for appointments to undergo gynaecological surgery.

Mr Harris visited CUMH this afternoon against a backdrop of deteriorating relationships between consultants and hospital management.

Management say the waiting lists can be reduced through measures costing €3m.

However, consultants say a longer term plan is needed, costing €5m.

Mr Harris has said resources will not be an issue, but it may need more than the figures currently quoted.

The meeting broke up after an hour and a quarter, with Mr Harris pledging more resources and management and consultants promising to work better together.

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