Tuesday, 18 December 2018
Department of Health
Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans
450. To ask the Minister for Health the new initiatives and proposals taken to reduce the number of children waiting over a year for an outpatient appointment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53347/18]
Improving access to hospital treatment is a key priority for government.
Budget 2019 announced that the Government had further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase fund (NTPF) increasing from €55 million in 2018 to€75 million in 2019. My Department is working closely with the NTPF and the HSE to finalise a Scheduled Care Access Plan for inpatients/day case and outpatients for 2019.
I recently met with the CEOs of all hospital groups and requested that they develop innovative proposals to address their outpatient lists in 2019.
This year, the NTPF has approved 504 Outpatient appointments for Temple Street as part of an initiative to support implementation of an extended working day in the hospital. The NTPF is also due to meet with the Children’s Hospital Group (CHG) this month to review Outpatient proposals covering the specialities of Cardiology, Ophthalmology, and Dental Surgery.
The CHG advises that it has implemented a number of new and innovative initiatives to improve access to outpatient appointments for patients across a range of specialties including cardiology, dermatology, and orthopaedics. This includes additional clinics in ENT and dermatology, the appointment of additional staff in general paediatrics and ophthalmology, and the use of virtual assessment clinics for rheumatology.
In addition, the establishment of the Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital in 2019 will result in 6,350 outpatient appointments being issued for the new facility next year, with projected full year outpatient attendance of 15,240 in subsequent years.
There are currently 45,346 patients on the CHG Outpatient waiting list (see table attached). Of these, 51% (23,273) are waiting 9 months or less and 61% (27,551) are waiting 12 months or less.
CHG - Outpatient
|Children's Hospital Group|