Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Donal Carey

Question:

156 Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Health the extent to which the hospital waiting lists were reduced from 1 July 1994, to date; the number of hip replacement operations which took place during that period; the number of patients referred to such treatment during the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [981/94]

Data on waiting lists is compiled on a quarterly basis by my Department. Figures in relation to the period from 1 July to 30 September 1994 are being collated at present and I will write to the Deputy with this information as soon as it is available. In relation to the number of patients referred to orthopaedic surgeons for hip replacements, I regret that as such information could not be routinely collected other than at a disproportionate cost, it is not possible to provide the information which the Deputy seeks on this matter.

The Deputy will, no doubt, be aware that following the success of the £20 million 1993 waiting list initiative the Government has committed a further £10 million in 1994 to allow the progress made in 1993 to be consolidated and to further reduce waiting times in specialties where waiting times for in-patient services are considered excessive. The target level of additional activity for 1994 is as follows:

ENT

2,637

General Surgery

1,920

Opthalmology

1,737

Orthopaedics

2,281

Plastic Surgery

1,001

Vascular Surgery

1,088

Gynaecology

1,059

Urology

955

Total

12,678

The target level of activity compares to a total waiting list on 31 December 1993 in the target specialties of adults waiting over 12 months and children waiting over six months of 8,870.
I launched the 1994 initiative on 20 June 1994 and a review of activity carried out under the initiative since the launch is underway at present in tandem with the collection of waiting list figures for the end of September.