Wednesday, 22 July 2020
Department of Health
Hospital Waiting Lists
Unscheduled care is the predominant driver of activity in acute hospitals and this has continued during the Covid-19 crisis. In 2019, there were over 1.3 million attendances at our hospital emergency departments, 3% higher than the previous year. While there was a substantial reduction in the overall number of patients attending EDs from March this year, ED attendances and admissions are now returning to pre-Covid levels.
My Department is working closely with the HSE to identify mitigating actions to bring down trolley numbers and waiting times in EDs in the face of growing demand and the additional challenges brought by Covid-19. The HSE is developing a comprehensive Winter Plan for the forthcoming winter that will set out how Emergency Departments can keep patient experience times to a minimum, reduce the number of patients waiting on hospital trolleys, and operate dual Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 pathways.
Regarding the specific information requested, I have asked the HSE to provide this to Deputy directly.