Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health
HSE Winter Plan: HSE
We have sought a briefing not just on this issue but also on the potential for a Covid vaccine. We look forward to that briefing, which we hope will happen in the next couple of weeks. I wish the best of luck to the HSE in that work. It will be very important in the fight against Covid.
I turn to Mr. Reid in respect of hospital wait times. At the end of September 2016, some 438,267 outpatients were waiting to see a consultant. The figures for the end of September 2020 are 612,283, an increase of 173,000. Of that, the number of patients waiting 18 months or longer was 29,994 at the end of November 2016. As of the end of November this year, there were 149,491, an increase of 120,000 patients waiting 18 months or more on the figure for 2016. Why are outpatient wait times increasing year on year? The figure increased from 438,000 in 2016 to 612,000 this year.