Thursday, 4 April 2019

Questions (137, 138, 139)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

137. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the wait time for an MRI at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin. [15834/19]

View answer

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

138. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the wait time for a first orthopaedic appointment at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin. [15835/19]

View answer

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

139. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health the wait time for scoliosis surgery at Our Lady's Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. [15836/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 137 to 139, inclusive, together.

The long-term strategy to develop sustainable scoliosis services is a priority for my Department and for the HSE, and the impact of investment and the implementation of the Scoliosis 10 Point Action Plan is now delivering results with a consistent reduction in waiting times being recorded.  

Children's Health Ireland (CHI) advise that the total number of surgeries performed in 2018 was 418 compared with 371 in 2017. This represents an increase in activity of 12% against 2017 and an increase in activity of 87% compared to 2016 when 224 procedures were carried out.  

CHI advise that as of the 29th March 2019 there were 174 patients on the Total Spinal Waiting List (including suspensions). This is a reduction of 26% (61 patients) since the same period last year when there were 235 patients on the Total Spinal Waiting List. Furthermore, the number of patients suspended has decreased by 77% in the same period, down from 64 at the end of March 2018 to 15 at the end of March 2019.  

CHI is currently recruiting two additional general orthopaedic consultants which will further reduce waiting times for children for an orthopaedic outpatient appointment. More broadly, all patient referrals to the orthopaedic spinal service at CHI are reviewed and clinically prioritised by a consultant. These patients are seen in order of clinical priority. Most patients are seen within 12 months.  

An additional 800 Outpatient appointments were given to patients in CHI at Crumlin in 2018 compared to 2017, which led to a 31% reduction in the overall orthopaedic outpatient waiting list.  

The Department of Health is working closely with CHI with the aim of supporting the further development of a sustainable scoliosis service and ensuring that the on-going demand for services is met.  

In relation to the specific queries raised by the Deputy regarding waiting times at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.