Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Health Service Executive have agreed a three-year plan with consultants to tackle waiting lists at Cork University Maternity Hospital, which are more than double that of any other maternity hospital in the country.

An extra €1m will be spent this year to help reduce a backlog of more than 4,000 women who are waiting for appointments to see a gynaecologist there.

Since it opened, 85,000 babies have been born at Cork University Maternity Hospital and today the hospital marked its 10th anniversary. 

Minister Harris visited in January and gave a commitment to putting a plan in place to tackle the backlog, and that plan was agreed yesterday.

It involves a new governance structure for the hospital and a commitment to spending an extra €1.1m this year.

That will see an aditional 1,500 out-patients being seen by consultants, with another 500 patients on waiting lists being operated on in theatre before the end of the year.

Mr Harris has again described waiting lists for gynaecology services in Cork as "unacceptable".

In a statement, he said he is confident that the three-year plan agreed in talks between between staff, the HSE and his department will make a real difference to women in the short-term and long-term.

Kacper Ciolek (L) was the first baby born at Cork University Maternity Hospital ten years ago and Daniel O'Riordan was born there today