Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Health

Hospital Waiting Lists

Photo of Seán CroweSeán Crowe (Dublin South West, Sinn Fein)
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876. To ask the Minister for Health the waiting time to see a consultant dermatologist in St. James’s Hospital following an intervention by a general practitioner; if it can be a period of up to 19 months; and his views on safety concerns in relation to the long delay. [3771/20]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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I am conscious that waiting times are often unacceptably long and of the burden that this places on patients and their families. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

Budget 2020 announced further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2020. The  NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to improve access to inpatient/daycase treatment and with a particular focus on hospital outpatient services. In this regard, I would encourage all hospital groups and individual hospitals to engage with the NTPF to identify waiting list proposals this year. 

The latest published National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures show that at the end of January there were 3,614 patients on the St. James Hospital dermatology outpatient waiting list. Of these, 48% (1,740) are waiting 6 months or less, 67% (2,408) are waiting 9 months or less and 83% (2,986) are waiting 12 months or less. The NTPF figures show that currently there are no patients waiting over 18 months.

The data requested by the Deputy regarding the dermatology outpatient waiting list at St. James Hospital, is outlined in the table below. The dermatology outpatient waiting list data for St. James Hospital is also publicly available on the NTPF website (www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm.)

0-3 mths 3-6 mths 6-9 mths 9-12 mths 12-15 mths 15-18 mths Total
1,021 719 668 578 430 198 3,614


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