More than 47,000 children are waiting to see a specialist paediatric consultant, which is up 46% since June 2016, according to the Children's Health Ireland Hospital Group.

The group, which collects data from all children's hospitals, said that more than 19,000 children are waiting more than 12 months to see a paediatrician.

The Irish Hospital Consultants' Association said the shortage of paediatric consultants across the country needs to be urgently addressed if the waiting lists are to be reduced.

The IHCA, through its #CARECANTWAIT campaign, is highlighting how the consultant recruitment crisis is having a detrimental effect on the Irish public health service system in terms of waiting times, timely treatment and patient safety.

Currently, one in five permanent consultant posts in our public health service are either unfilled or filled by temporary appointments.