Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Eamon Gilmore

Ceist:

122 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Health and Children the hospitals in which there are separate waiting lists for public and private patients for ultra sound scan equipment provided at public expense; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that St. Michael's Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, operates such a dual list system; his views on whether this is acceptable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1850/99]

Information on waiting lists for radiology and other diagnostic procedures is not routinely collected by my Department.

I am informed by the authorities at St. Michael's Hospital that they operate a separate waiting list for public and private out-patients who require ultra sound facilities at the hospital. The waiting times for out-patient appointments are presently two months for public patients and two weeks for private patients. The hospital have advised me that in-patients at the hospital who require ultra sound facilities are seen without delay.

Under existing eligibility arrangements regarding waiting lists for patients requiring out-patient treatment, a consultant's private out-patients may be treated in a public hospital either: (a) at a public clinic in accordance with their place on the overall waiting list for that clinic, or (b) at a time agreed with the hospital authority, outside of the consultant's public commitment.

Any out-patient whose condition necessitates immediate treatment would, of course, receive priority regardless of public or private status.