Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (354)

Michael Healy-Rae


354. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding hospital waiting times; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16193/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The 2019 Scheduled Care Access Plan was published last month. Under the Plan the HSE, in line with the National Service Plan, will aim to deliver 1.155 million elective inpatient and day case discharges, as well as 3.3 million outpatient appointments, of which approximately 1 million will be first appointments. The Access Plan also sets out activity levels for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) who, following an increase in funding in Budget 2019 to €75 million, will supply additionality to HSE activity by arranging both insourced and outsourced appointments and treatments to reduce waiting times experienced by patients.

This year the Plan will place a particular focus on ten high volume procedures, including cataracts, joint replacements, tonsils and angiograms. Through the combined activity of the HSE and the NTPF, projections are that for these procedures, all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months will be offered treatment in 2019. Projections under the Plan aim to reduce the overall number of patients on the waiting list for hospital operations and procedures from just over 70,200 in Dec 2018 to under 60,000.

The Access Plan ensures an appropriate balance between high volume activities and offering treatment to complex long waiting patients. The NTPF will do this by inviting public hospitals to seek solutions for very long waiters either in the private sector or through insourcing.

In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.