Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (587)

Michael Healy-Rae


587. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the number of persons currently waiting to have cataract operations carried out at Cork University Hospital; the length of time they have been waiting for these operations; the proposals that are in place to speed up and enhance the service in CUH regarding the removal of cataracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30321/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Improving access to outpatient services is a key priority for the Government. Building on work already undertaken by the HSE, the National Treatment Purchase Fund has now taken over the reporting of outpatient waiting time data. For the first time data is available on www.ntpf.ie. The collation and analysis of outpatient waiting time data in a standardised format will reveal the distribution of long waiters across all hospitals. For 2013, a maximum waiting time target has now been set of 12 months for a first time outpatient appointment.

In parallel with reducing the numbers of longest waiters, the SDU will also work with the HSE Clinical Programmes to reform the structure, organisation and delivery of outpatient services to ensure that the right patient is seen and assessed by the right health professional at the right time.

In relation to the particular queries raised by the Deputy, as they are service matters, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy.