Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1223, 1227, 1228, 1229)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

1223. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the wait time for outpatient appointments at Mayo University Hospital and University Hospital Galway, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36302/19]

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Lisa Chambers

Question:

1227. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of children on the waiting list to see a paediatrician in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36306/19]

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Lisa Chambers

Question:

1228. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of children awaiting an outpatient appointment at Mayo University Hospital and University Hospital Galway, respectively, from January 2019 to date in comparison to the same period in 2018. [36307/19]

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Lisa Chambers

Question:

1229. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on waiting lists at Mayo University Hospital and University Hospital Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36308/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1223 and 1227 to 1229, inclusive, 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.

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 outpatient waiting list proposals. While the NTPF have already approved over 38,000 outpatient appointments, they advise that the impact of these initiatives may not be seen until the end of the year. Approximately 75% of outpatient appointments approved to date relate to 4 high-volume specialties, specifically Ophthalmology, ENT, Orthopaedics, and Dermatology.

In addition, the Department of Health has established a Working Group comprised of representatives from the HSE, NTPF, and Departmental officials, to examine ways of improving access for patients waiting for scheduled care. Part of this work includes developing initiatives which will move care to the most appropriate setting, and at the lowest level of complexity.

In relation to the data requested, the latest published NTPF waiting list figures show that are 2,128 patients on the Mayo University Hospital IPDC waiting list. Of these, 65% (1,373) are waiting 9 months or less and 76% (1,613) are waiting 12 months or less. There are 8,839 patients on the Mayo University Hospital Outpatient waiting list. Of these 60% (5,265) are waiting 12 months or less.

The latest figures show that there are 8,853 patients on Galway University Hospital IPDC waiting list. Of these, 66% (5,827) are waiting 9 months or less and 75% (6,688) are waiting 12 months or less. There are 42,683 patients on the Galway University Hospital Outpatient waiting list. Of these 69% (29,598) are waiting 12 months or less.

The NTPF have advised that currently a total of 2,130 children with an area of residence in Co Mayo are waiting to see a paediatrician. In relation to the number of children waiting for an outpatient appointment at Mayo and Galway University Hospitals from January to July in both 2019 and 2018, please see the document supplied.

In relation to the requested wait time for outpatient appointments at Mayo University Hospital and Galway University Hospital, please see table below.

Mayo University Hospital and Galway University Hospital outpatient waiting times

-

0-3 mths

3-6 mths

6-9 mths

9-12 mths

12-15 mths

15-18 mths

18-21 mths

21-24 mths

24-36 mths

36-48 mths

48+

Total

Mayo Hospital

2755

1160

698

652

662

549

289

295

940

531

308

8839

Galway Hospital

13620

7158

4778

4042

3280

2392

1701

1401

3270

865

176

42683

Number of children waiting for an outpatient appointment at Mayo and Galway University Hospitals from January to July in both 2019 and 2018

2018

2019

Galway University Hospital

Jan

4808

4567

Feb

4687

4606

Mar

4683

4676

Apr

4566

4634

May

4583

4589

Jun

4550

4560

Jul

4507

4555

Mayo General Hospital

Jan

1484

1374

Feb

1459

1430

Mar

1513

1465

Apr

1598

1499

May

1466

1540

Jun

1527

1516

Jul

1481

1429