Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (256)

Barry Cowen

Question:

259 Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if he will provide an update on a case (details supplied) in County Offaly; and when the person may expect an appointment for an ultrasound in the Midlands Regional Hospital, County Offaly. [34322/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

The Special Delivery Unit (SDU) is working to unblock access to acute services by improving the flow of patients through the system, and by streamlining waiting lists, including the management of referrals from GPs by hospitals. The SDU is working closely with its partner agencies — mainly the HSE and the NTPF.

As a priority, public hospitals were instructed to ensure that, by the end of 2011, they had no patients waiting more than 12 months for treatment. I can confirm that the vast majority of hospitals achieved this objective. During 2012, the SDU will support hospitals in the delivery of a 9 month maximum wait time for inpatient or daycase surgery.

The next priority for the SDU is access to diagnostics. This programme of work has commenced in terms of access to GI endoscopy and will later in 2012 examine access to radiology services.

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. Should the patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he/she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and hospital involved.