He says 19,000 of those have been waiting for more than a year.
A midlands TD says a waiting list of over 50,000 for eye care is scandalous.
Figures released to Fianna Fáil's Seán Fleming show 19,000 of those on the list for in-patient and out-patient ophthalmology treatment have been waiting for more than a year.
The covid-19 restrictions have forced regular procedures to be cancelled, but opticians have re-opened this week and Deputy Fleming fears this will lead to even more referrals for hospital treatment.
The Laois-Offaly TD says specialist eye clinics need to set up to deal with the backlog: