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Hospital Waiting Lists

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 19 April 2018

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Questions (264, 265, 268)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

264. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if the National Treatment Purchase Fund can be utilised to alleviate waiting lists at public hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17356/18]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

265. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which he is monitoring the waiting lists throughout the health service with particular reference to specific procedures such as miscellaneous orthopaedic, cardiac, neurological or other procedures; if the utilisation of the treatment purchase scheme can be used to clear backlogs to facilitate efficiencies throughout the service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17357/18]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

268. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which the treatment purchase scheme is being used to address issues of delays experienced by persons awaiting various procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17360/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 264, 265 and 268 together.

The National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) has a statutory role to collect, collate and validate information in relation to persons waiting for hospital treatment and to put in place information systems and procedures for that purpose.

The NTPF is under the governance (aegis) of the Department of Health and my Department has a governance structure in place which involves regular governance and monitoring meetings with both the NTPF and HSE, including at Ministerial level.

The Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan, published on 12 April, is a joint initiative between the HSE, the NTPF and my Department and sets the projected activity and impact that will be delivered in 2018 from within the allocated funding. As outlined in the Action Plan, a projected 1.16 million inpatient and day case procedures will take place in 2018, with NTPF activity accounting for 20,000 procedures and HSE activity 1.14 million procedures.

The NTPF procures capacity for each of the procedures identified in the Action Plan in both private hospitals or public hospitals. The NTPF will target seven procedures which account for 40% of people on the Active Inpatient Day Case waiting list:

Cataracts, Hip/Knee replacements, Varicose Veins, Tonsillectomies, Cystoscopies, Coronary Angiograms, and Excision of Lesions, amounting to 13,800 procedures, as well as 5,000 procedures across an expanded range of over 40 other procedures, and 4,000 GI Scopes.

The Action Plan strikes the appropriate balance between maximising the number of patients treated in both public and private capacity, as appropriate, and ensuring the best return for the taxpayer.

The overall number of patients waiting for an inpatient or day case procedure is projected to fall to below 70,000 by year end, from a peak of 86,100 in July 2017. My ambition is to build upon this progress in 2019 and to further reduce waiting times for Irish patients.

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