Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Joe Costello

Question:

171 Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Health the number of people in the Dublin metropolitan area awaiting surgical operations for heart by-pass, organ replacement and hip replacement; and the average length of waiting time in each of the last five years. [16148/96]

Limerick East): The number of people with Dublin addresses awaiting cardiac surgery and hip replacements is 600 and 214, respectively. These figures are influenced by new referrals on to the waiting lists and also by cases which come off waiting lists after surgery.

The number of persons with Dublin addresses awaiting solid organ transplantation is as follows:

Heart

15

Liver

7

Kidney/Pancreas

29

Lung and Heart/Lung

24

Small Bowel

1

Statistics are not readily available which would indicate the average length of waiting time in each of the last five years for people in the Dublin metropolitan area. However, the following would be indicative of waiting times in the Dublin area. The average waiting time for a kidney transplant is about ten months while the waiting time for a hip replacement at present can be as short as three months and would average out at 12 months.
The scheduling of people for cardiac surgery is a matter for the clinical judgment of the consultant concerned, is based solely on the patient's condition and not on the length of time on the waiting list. However, non-urgent cases for cardiac surgery can be on the waiting list for a considerable time and I have indicated to the House that I intend to tackle this problem. For a successful transplantation it is essential that a suitable matching donor organ is available.