Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (696)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

696. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the number of persons on a waiting list for Cork University Hospital to be assessed for cataract assessment with addresses in County Kerry; and the number of persons waiting for cataract removal in South Infirmary Cork. [45373/19]

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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. Budget 2020 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase fund (NTPF) increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2019. The year-on-year increases to the NTPF since Budget 2017 reflect this Government’s priority to improve waiting times for patients to access hospital treatment.

My Department is working with the HSE and the NTPF to develop the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2020. In this regard, the HSE National Service Plan 2020 will set out a planned activity level for the year ahead, while the NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to reduce inpatient/day case, with a particular focus on improving access to hospital outpatient services.

In 2020, NTPF will further expand its list of targeted inpatient and daycase procedures to support further reductions in wait times as well as increasing funding towards supporting full packages of care for patients on the outpatient waiting lists, to include the surgery or treatment where required.

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 September 2019 had further reduced to 5,074, with 506 of patients waiting over 9 months. This represents a reduction of 3,865 or 88% when compared to July 2017, when there were 4,371 patients waiting over 9 months for a cataract operation.

In relation to the particular query raised by the Deputy, the NTPF have provided details of the number of people with addresses in Co. Kerry waiting for an Ophthalmology Outpatient appointment in Cork University Hospital, and the number of people awaiting cataract surgery in South Infirmary Royal Victoria Hospital, at the end of September, in the following table.

Total Number of people from Co. Kerry waiting for an Ophthalmology Outpatient Appointment in CUH as at 26/09/2019

Date

Area of Residence

Hospital

Specialty

Total

26/09/2019

Kerry

Cork University Hospital

Ophthalmology

534

Total IPDC Cataract Waiting List in SIVUH as at 26/09/2019

Date

Hospital

Total

26/09/2019

South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital

463