Thursday, 28 September 2017
Department of Health
Hospital Waiting Lists Data
206. To ask the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting appointment with consultants prior to getting on to a waiting list for the relevant procedure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41179/17]
I acknowledge that waiting times are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the burden that this places on patients and their families.
Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government's key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018.
In order to reduce the numbers of long-waiting patients, I asked the HSE to develop Waiting List Action Plans for 2017 in the areas of Inpatient/Daycase, Scoliosis and Outpatient Services. The Inpatient/Daycase Action Plan is being delivered through a combination of normal hospital activity, as well as insourcing and outsourcing initiatives utilising NTPF funding. Under the Inpatient/Daycase Plan, since early February, over 23,800 patients have come off the Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List.
The NTPF has advised that to date 5,901 patients have been authorised for treatment in private hospitals under its Initiatives, 2,235 patients have accepted an offer of treatment in a private hospital and that 1,112 patients have received their procedure. The NTPF has also indicated that 2,841 patients have been authorised for treatment in public hospitals under the Plan’s insourcing initiatives, 910 offers of treatment have been accepted and 285 patients have been treated.
Under the Outpatient Plan, since early February, more than 84,200 patients have come off the Outpatient Waiting List .
In addition in November 2016, the HSE launched the Strategy for the Design of Integrated Outpatient Services 2016-2020. This strategy seeks to improve waiting times for outpatient services in the long term by restructuring referral pathways and utilising technology to improve service delivery.
This week, I gave approval to the HSE to put in place capacity to drive a national waiting list validation project to support systematic and regular waiting list validation and continued focus on scheduled care.
With regard to the number of patients waiting for Outpatient appointments, the NTPF publishes the waiting list figures each month on its website NTPF.ie.