Wednesday, 21 September 2022
Department of Health
Hospital Waiting Lists
It is recognised that waiting times for scheduled appointments and procedures have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. While significant work continues to positively impact on waiting times and improve pathways to elective care, acute hospitals are still impacted by operational challenges arising from the pandemic.
The HSE has confirmed to the Department that patient safety remains at the centre of all hospital activity and elective care scheduling. To ensure services are provided in a safe, clinically-aligned and prioritised way, hospitals are following HSE clinical guidelines and protocols.
The Department of Health continues to work with the HSE and the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to identify ways to improve access to care, including through increased use of private hospitals, funding weekend and evening work in public hospitals, funding “see and treat” services, providing virtual clinics, and increasing capacity in the public hospital system.
The 2022 Waiting List Action Plan allocates €350 million to the HSE and NTPF to reduce waiting lists. Under this plan the Department, HSE, and NTPF will deliver urgent additional capacity for the treatment of patients, as well as investing in longer term reforms to bring sustained reductions in waiting lists.
This is the first stage of an ambitious multi-annual waiting list programme, which is currently under development in the Department of Health. Between them, these plans will work to support short, medium, and long term initiatives to reduce waiting times and provide the activity needed in years to come.
In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, a breakdown of waiting lists by specialty, by adult and child age group, by time band for each hospital is published monthly and is available on the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) website at: www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm