Thursday, 11 July 2013

Questions (232)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

232. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the number of consultant ophthalmic surgeons currently working in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9; the number of persons on the waiting list for an appointment to see a consultant ophthalmic surgeon; the average waiting time for a patient to see a consultant; and the active steps being taken to tackle the waiting times. [34005/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Improving access to outpatient services is a key priority for the Government. Collaborating with individual hospitals, the SDU, together with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) and the HSE, has developed the outpatient waiting list minimum dataset. This allows data to be submitted to the NTPF from hospitals on a weekly basis and, for the first time, outpatient data is available on www.ntpf.ie. For 2013, a maximum waiting time target has been set of 12 months for a first time consultant-led outpatient appointment and this is reflected in the HSE service plan. The SDU and the NTPF will work closely with hospitals towards achievement of the maximum waiting time. In relation to the particular queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy in these matters.