Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (808)

Michael McGrath

Question:

808. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the number of women on the gynaecology outpatient waiting list (details supplied) at Cork University Maternity Hospital in tabular form; the number awaiting surgery at the hospital; the number of surgeries completed each year since 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19143/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital appointments and procedures is a key priority for Government. Budget 2019 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) increasing from €55 million in 2018 to €75 million in 2019.

The joint Department of Health/HSE/NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 was published recently and sets out measures to improve care for patients waiting for scheduled care in 2019 by reducing waiting times for inpatient/day case treatment and outpatient appointments. 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.

While the meeting of short-term targets is always welcome, more can be achieved and in this regard the HSE, Department of Health and NTPF, under the Access Plan, will work together with the objective of developing medium-long term improvement initiatives for patient access to hospital procedures. This will include moving care to more appropriate settings and providing care at the lowest level of complexity such as providing ophthalmology in the community and maximising the use of Advanced Nurse Practitioner led clinics. Issues relating to benign gynaecology waiting lists will be examined as part of this process.

Waiting list figures provided to my Department by the NTPF indicate that at the end of March 2019 there were 421 patients on the Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) IPDC waiting list. Of these, 60% are waiting 6 months or less and 74% are waiting 9 months or less.

CUMH continues to work on reducing the inpatient and outpatient waiting list with a focused plan to reduce long waiters. With the support of South/South-West Hospital Group and the NTPF, CUMH have worked to offer treatment to long waiting patients, and have arranged additional outpatient clinics. The benefit of these initiatives can be witnessed in the waiting list numbers.

The CUMH outpatient waiting list for March 2019 recorded a 50% reduction in the numbers waiting for an appointment compared to the same period last year. More specifically, at the end of March 2019 there were 1,854 patients waiting for an appointment. Of these, 79% were waiting 6 months or less and 90% were waiting 9 months or less.

The specific breakdown in waiting list figures requested by the Deputy is provided in the tables below.

In relation to the number of surgeries completed each year since 2007, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.

Cork University Maternity Hospital Gynaecology Outpatient Waiting List

0-6 mths

6-12 mths

12-18 mths

18-24 mths

24+ mths

Total

1464

347

28

12

3

1854

Cork University Maternity Hospital Gynaecology IPDC Waiting List

0-6 mths

6-12 mths

12-18 mths

18-24 mths

24+ mths

Total

251

104

31

23

12

421