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Hospital Waiting Lists

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (124)

James O'Connor

Question:

124. Deputy James O'Connor asked the Minister for Health the number of persons currently waiting for a neurology outpatient appointment in Cork hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59110/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

It is recognised that waiting times for scheduled appointments and procedures have been impacted in the last twenty months as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While significant progress was made in reducing waiting times from June 2020 onwards, the surge in Covid-19 cases in the first quarter of 2021 and the associated curtailment of acute hospital services, coupled with the ransomware attack of May 2021, has impacted waiting times.

The current surge in Covid-19 cases has put increasing pressures on hospitals and ICUs. As part of the response to this the HSE advised all Hospital Groups on 18th November, to take a series of immediate actions which include a 14 day period of prioritising unscheduled care, COVID care and time sensitive work in particular in Model 4 hospitals. The situation is to be reviewed after that period.

On the 7th October I published the Acute Waiting List Action Plan. This plan, to run until December 2021, has a series of targeted measures that are designed to address the growth in waiting lists caused by Covid-19 and the cyber-attack. In addition, my Department, the HSE and the NTPF are also working on a Multi Annual Waiting List Plan to bring waiting lists in line with Sláintecare targets over the coming years. This process will be overseen by a Ministerial Taskforce, chaired by the Secretary General of my Department and includes representatives from the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund. The plan will be informed by the lessons learned from the successful Vaccine Taskforce.  

For 2022 an additional allocation of €250 million, comprised of €200 million to the HSE and €50 million to the National Treatment Purchase Fund has been provided in respect of work to reduce hospital and community waiting lists. The €250 million will be used to fund additional activity in both the public and private sectors. The €50 million additional funding provided to the NTPF brings its total allocation for 2022 to €150 million, and as a consequence there will be a budget of €350 million available to support vital initiatives to improve access to acute hospitals and community health services.

The information requested by the Deputy, is outlined in the attached document. The information set out in these documents shows the number of patients on the neurology outpatient waiting list in hospitals in County Cork. This information is also available on the NTPF website at: www.ntpf.ie/home/nwld.htm .

Cork Hospitals Neurology Outpatient Waiting List

 0-6Months

 6-12Months

 12-18Months

18+Months

Grand Total

CUH

966

704

471

291

2432

Bantry General

39

9

5

3

55

Small Volume Hospitals

6

Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) techniques have been applied to the data to preserve confidentiality and mitigate against identification or self-identification of individuals. In cases where there are less than 5 people in any particular cell, we have replaced that value with the average (mean) of all values that are less than 5 across that category. Any decimal values which arise have then been rounded. This may cause some rounding to occur when calculating sub-totals. Where there are <20 patients waiting in a particular specialty/hospital, we have aggregated the numbers under a ‘Small Volume’ heading.

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