Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Department of Health
Hospital Appointments Status
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.
The HSE has advised my Department that, in line with the National Action Plan on COVID-19, there has been a significant reduction in all non-urgent elective scheduled care activity since March. This was to ensure that all appropriate resources, both physical and human, were made available for COVID-19 related activity. The HSE continues to adhere to the best clinical guidance and NPHET’s recommendations, which have now approved the careful re-commencement of scheduled care activity based on strict criteria to ensure the continued provision of safe, patient-centred care to non-Covid patients. Importantly, time-critical essential work continues throughout the system in line with the National Action Plan, the HSE Model of Care, and World Health Organisation recommendations.
In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.