Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Health
Hospital Waiting Lists
I propose to take Questions Nos. 585 and 589 together.
It is recognised that waiting times for scheduled appointments and procedures have been impacted in the last twenty months as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently as a result of the ransomware attack. While significant progress was made in reducing waiting times from June 2020 onwards, the surge in Covid-19 cases in the first quarter of 2021 and the associated curtailment of acute hospital services, coupled with the ransomware attack of May 2021, has impacted waiting times.
The current surge in Covid-19 cases has put increasing pressures on hospitals and ICUs. As part of the response to this the HSE has advised all Hospital Groups to take a series of immediate actions which include a 14 day period of prioritising unscheduled care, COVID care and time sensitive work in particular in Model 4 hospitals. The situation is to be reviewed after that period.
On the 7th October I published the Acute Waiting List Action Plan. This plan, to run until December 2021, has a series of targeted measures that are designed to address the growth in waiting lists caused by Covid-19 and the cyber-attack.
In addition, my Department, the HSE and the NTPF are also working on a Multi Annual Waiting List Plan to bring waiting lists in line with Sláintecare targets over the coming years. This process will be overseen by a Ministerial Taskforce, chaired by the Secretary General of my Department and includes representatives from the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund.
For 2022 an additional allocation of €250 million, comprised of €200 million to the HSE and €50 million to the National Treatment Purchase Fund has been provided in respect of work to reduce hospital and community waiting lists. The €250 million will be used to fund additional activity in both the public and private sectors. The €50 million additional funding provided to the NTPF brings its total allocation for 2022 to €150 million, and as a consequence there will be a budget of €350 million available to support vital initiatives to improve access to acute hospitals and community health services.
The information requested by the Deputy is outlined in the attached documents. This information shows the number of patients on the Inpatient & Daycase (IPDC) waiting list at Mayo University Hospital. In regard to average wait times for inpatient and outpatients at Mayo University Hospital, the health system does not collect the data necessary to calculate average wait times. In particular, the time to treatment of patients who have already received their care is not collected. The NTPF collects data on patients currently on the waiting list and the average time that these patients have been waiting is provided here.
Mayo University Hospital IPDC Waiting List
|0-6 Mths||6-12 Mths||12-18 Mths||18+ Mths||Grand Total|
Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) techniques have been applied to the data to preserve confidentiality and mitigate against identification or self-identification of individuals. In cases where there are less than 5 people in any particular cell, we have replaced that value with the average (mean) of all values that are less than 5 across that category. Any decimal values which arise have then been rounded. This may cause some rounding to occur when calculating sub-totals.
Where there are <20 patients waiting in a particular specialty/hospital, we have aggregated the numbers under a ‘Small Volume’ heading.
Mayo University Hospital Mean & Median Wait Times as of 25/11/2021