Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1949, 1950, 1956)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

1949. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the waiting list for rheumatology in CUH and the Mercy hospital by three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months. [34394/19]

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Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

1950. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the waiting list for neurology in CUH and the Mercy hospital by three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months. [34395/19]

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Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

1956. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Health the waiting list for ophthalmology in Cork University Hospital and Mercy hospital by three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months, respectively. [34401/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1949, 1950 and 1956 together.

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

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 in March 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. The plan places a strong focus on ten high-volume Inpatient/Day Case procedures. When combined with HSE activity, it is projected that the NTPF will be in a position to offer treatment to all clinically suitable patients waiting more than 6 months for one of these high-volume procedures.

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 June 2019 had further reduced to 5,739 with 454 patients waiting over 9 months. This represents a reduction of 3,917 or 90% when compared to July 2017, when there were 4,371 patients waiting over 9 months for a cataract operation.

A key element of the Plan is the stabilisation of the Outpatient Waiting List. Under the Plan the HSE, in line with the National Service Plan, will aim to deliver 3.3 million outpatient appointments, of which approximately 1 million will be first appointments. For its part the NTPF will aim to deliver 40,000 first Outpatient appointments.

The NTPF advise that over recent months they have placed a particular focus on engaging with hospital groups and individual hospitals to identify waiting list proposals. The NTPF welcomes proposals from all acute hospitals for initiatives to improve access for patients on waiting lists.

In addition, my Department is working with the HSE and NTPF, under the Access Plan, 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.

The data requested by the Deputy is outlined in the attached document. This data is also publically available at https://www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm.

Due to the small volume of patients waiting in certain specialty timebands, to preserve patient confidentiality, when amount of patients is <5, these have been included within broader timebands.

CUH IPDC Ophthalmology, Rheumatology & Neurology Waiting List

 0-3 Mths

 3-6 Mths

6-9 Mths

15-18 Mths

Grand Total

Ophthalmology

28

7

35

Neurology

15

15

Rheumatology

0

CUH Outpatient Ophthalmology, Rheumatology & Neurology Waiting List

 0-3Months

 3-6Months

 6-9Months

 9-12Months

12-15Months

15-18Months

18-21Months

21-24Months

24-36Months

36-48Months

Grand Total

Ophthalmology

1308

823

914

701

693

600

566

524

1569

140

7838

Neurology

628

311

218

158

5

1320

Rheumatology

361

278

195

150

174

116

114

98

146

0

1632

Mercy University Hospital IPDC Ophthalmology, Rheumatology & Neurology Waiting List

 0-3 Mths

 3-6 Mths

 6-9 Mths

 9-12 Mths

12-15 Mths

15-18 Mths

18-24 Mths

Grand Total

Ophthalmology

5

6

11

Neurology

4

4

Rheumatology

0

Mercy University Hospital Outpatient Ophthalmology, Rheumatology & Neurology Waiting List

 0-3Months

 3-6Months

 6-9Months

9-12    Months

15-18 Months

Grand Total

Ophthalmology

9

9

Neurology

8

16

28

12

64

Rheumatology

0