Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Photo of Duncan SmithDuncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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29. To ask the Minister for Health the plans he has to tackle the waiting times for diagnosis of endometriosis, which can take up to nine years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16980/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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I am advised that improving access to gynaecology services overall will assist many patients with endometriosis.

In this regard, my Department is working with the HSE to develop “see and treat” ambulatory gynaecology clinics.

Approximately 70% of general gynaecology referrals can be managed in the ambulatory setting. This will help reduce the need for multiple gynaecology appointments for the woman.

Re-directing more women to the ambulatory setting will also free up resources, such as gynaecology theatres, which could be used for more complex procedures.

Building on recent developments, Budget 2022 funding will enable us to establish the remaining ambulatory gynaecology clinics, giving us a total of 20 clinics nationally.

Arising from the work of the Women's Health Taskforce, 2021 saw the expansion of the endometriosis services at both the Coombe and Tallaght University Hospital.

Using Budget 2022 funding, we will further expand the service at Tallaght and establish a new service for more complex endometriosis cases at Cork.

Allied to this, the ICGP is engaging with the HSE to develop a Quick Reference Guide on endometriosis for GPs. This will align with the Model of Care for endometriosis that is also under development.

These initiatives will increase awareness of endometriosis and help identify the most appropriate care pathways for women, up to and including specialist endometriosis care.


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