Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1996)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1996. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the actions being taken to improve waiting times for the almost 30,000 women waiting for an outpatient appointment to see a gynaecologist; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34524/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

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.

The latest National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures show that there are 29,059 patients on the Gynaecology Outpatient waiting list. Of these 82% (23,762) are waiting 12 months or less.

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. Issues relating to gynaecology waiting lists will be examined as part of this process.