Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (285)

Gerry Adams


285. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in County Louth awaiting cataract surgery; and the length of time they have been waiting. [38376/19]

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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.

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 access for patients waiting for scheduled care this year. The plan places a strong focus on ten high-volume Inpatient/Day Case procedures, including cataracts.

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 August 2019 had further reduced to 5,528, with 527 of patients waiting over 9 months. This represents a reduction of 3,844 or 88% when compared to July 2017, when there were 4,371 patients waiting over 9 months for a cataract operation.

In regard to the data requested by the Deputy, there are currently no patients on the cataract surgery waiting list in either Louth County Hospital or Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda. The waiting times for cataract surgery by area of residence in County Louth is outlined in the document attached.

To ensure anonymity numbers lower than 5 have been merged in certain timebands

Row Labels

0-3 Months

3-6 Months

6-9 Months

9-12 Months

12-15 Months

Grand Total