Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting List

Declan Bree

Question:

136 Mr. Bree asked the Minister for Health the current number of people on the orthopaedic waiting list for Sligo General Hospital; the waiting period involved before a patient receives treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1997/96]

Limerick East): The number of people on the in-patient orthopaedic waiting list for Sligo General Hospital on 31 December 1995 was 209. All these people were waiting less than one year. Admission is determined in accordance with medical need and a survey of the admissions by the North-Western Health Board showed that 25 per cent of people were admitted within one month of being put on the waiting list.

These waiting times clearly demonstrate the benefits which have accrued from the waiting list funding provided in recent years. In 1996 a further £7 million has been committed and this will have an impact on the length of time people spend on waiting lists. Discussions will shortly take place between my Department and the North-Western Health Board on the board's priorities in this area for 1996.