Wednesday, 31 January 2007
Department of Health and Children
National Treatment Purchase Fund
Question 852: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the proposals in place to deal with the increasing problem of patients who are awaiting assessment by consultants prior to being considered by the National Treatment Purchase Fund; if her attention has been drawn to the undue hardship being caused for individuals who cannot apply to be considered under this scheme due to the long lists to see consultants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2281/07]
The management of out-patient waiting lists is a matter for the Health Service Executive and the individual hospitals concerned. However, in 2005, at my request, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) set up a number of out-patient pilot projects. The pilot programme operated successfully and 4,500 out-patients were seen in that year. In 2006, a further 6,250 patients were provided with out-patient appointments. The NTPF expects to increase the number to 9,000 in 2007. I am very pleased with the success to date of the out-patient programme.