Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Health
Hospital Waiting Lists
Improving access to scoliosis services is a key commitment of this government. In recent years there has been an increased investment in paediatric orthopaedics and scoliosis services, which has improved access to surgery and outpatient appointments. In 2018 Children’s Health Ireland (CHI; previously the Children’s Hospital Group) was provided with an additional €9 million in funding to address paediatric orthopaedic waiting lists, including the provision of scoliosis services.
As a result, since 2018 there have been continued improvements in paediatric scoliosis services, with increased activity and a reduction in waiting times to access appointments and procedures.
Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, since January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.
In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.