Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (989)

Lisa Chambers


989. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to address the waiting lists to see a gynaecologist here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35608/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Reducing waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures is a key commitment of government. Budget 2019 announced that the Government had 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, and NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 was published in March. 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 and 3.3 million outpatient appointments, of which more than 1 million will be to new patients. For its part, the NTPF will provide additionality through the provision of 25,000 IPDC appointments, 5,000 GI scopes, and 40,000 outpatient appointments.

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. Gynaecology is one of the specialties being examined by this group.