More than 780,700 patients were waiting to be seen at a public hospital for assessment or treatment at the end of April, according to new figures released by the National Treatment Purchase Fund.

The national waiting list figures are the highest recorded but have also been affected by the suspension of planned procedures and outpatient clinics, due to Covid-19.

Of the total, 567,329 patients were waiting to be seen at an outpatient clinic, by a consultant for assessment.

The overall figures also include 86,343 patients waiting for a date for inpatient, or day case treatment.

Since the first case of Covid-19 was recorded in Ireland at the end of February, overall waiting lists have increased by around 14,300 patients to the end of April.

At the end of February, before the Covid-19 health emergency, the total national waiting list was over 766,300.

The total waiting list at the end of April, was 780,732 patients.

Yesterday, the Health Service Executive said that it would use private hospitals to help clear National Treatment Purchase Fund lists.