Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (491)

Michael Moynihan


491. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting cataract surgery in Counties Cork and Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23510/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Budget 2019 announced that the Government had further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the NTPF increasing from €55 million in 2018 to €75 million in 2019. The joint Department of Health, HSE, and NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 was published in March.

Under the Plan the HSE, in line with the National Service Plan, will deliver 1.155 million elective inpatient and day case discharges at a value of €1.4 billion in 2019. The Scheduled Care Access Plan includes:

- detailed plans from the NTPF to fund 25,000 IPDC treatments; 5,000 Gastro Intestinal Scopes; and 40,000 outpatient first appointments.

- It is also projected that for ten identified high volume procedures, including cataracts, all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months will be offered treatment in 2019. These 10 procedures account for over a third of the active inpatient day case waiting list and represent 60% of NTPF planned activity in 2019.

At the end of July 2017, the number of people waiting for a cataract procedure was 10,024. Under the Inpatient Day Case Access Plan 2018, cataracts were one of the specialties targeted by the NTPF, and by end December 2018, the number of patients waiting had fallen to 6,440, a reduction of 36%. The number of patients waiting for a cataract procedure at the end of April 2019 had further reduced to 6,151, with 582 of patients waiting over 9 months. This represents a reduction of 3,789 or 87% when compared to July 2017, when there were 4,371 patients waiting over 9 months for a cataract operation.

The NTPF have advised that as of 30 May 2019, the number of people awaiting cataract surgery in public hospitals in counties Cork and Kerry was 523, with all patients listed for treatment at South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork.

Question No. 492 answered with Question No. 459.