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Hospital Waiting Lists

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 19 June 2012

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Ceisteanna (46, 47)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

130 Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the action he is taking to address the waiting list of some 158,000 patients waiting since January 2011 for an appointment to be seen by a consultant at an outpatient department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29422/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

The HSE March 2012 Report showed that a total of 158,850 patients are waiting less than 12 months for a first time outpatient attendance. A further 45,959 patients are waiting over 12 months. It is likely that these are an underestimate of those waiting as not all hospitals are currently reporting outpatient waiting time data to the HSE. The issue of Outpatient waiting lists was essentially an untended problem. The scale of the problem was unmeasured and consequently no special action was taken to deal with it. This Government intends to change that. I have instructed the Special Delivery Unit to give priority to devising methods for dealing with the issue of the Outpatient waiting lists.

Work has already commenced on the systematic and automatic collection of waiting time data, at an individual patient level in a standardised format from all hospitals providing an Outpatient service. This will be the first time that such detailed data will be available at a national level from all hospitals. The collation and analysis of Outpatient waiting time data will reveal how many patients are waiting by region, by hospital, by specialty and by Consultant. The SDU and NTPF are aiming to publish outpatient waiting time data in the near future.

The next step will be to then set a maximum waiting time target for a first Outpatient appointment. Hospitals will be held responsible and accountable for ensuring that patients are seen in Outpatients within this maximum waiting time. The SDU and the National Treatment Purchase Fund will assist hospitals in targeting their resources towards those patients who are waiting longest and ensure that they are seen, assessed and appropriately treated. In parallel with reducing the numbers of those waiting longest, the SDU will also commence work with the HSE Clinical Programmes to reform the structure, organisation and delivery of Outpatient services to ensure that the right patient is seen by the right health professional at the right time.

The goal is to improve access by implementing an Out Patient Service Performance Improvement Programme that will underpin a radical transformation of how Out Patient services are delivered in Ireland.

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

131 Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Health if there are increased waiting times for patients who require orthopaedic surgery at Tallaght Hospital, Dublin 24; the way this issue is being addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29445/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Tallaght has participated in the SDU Scheduled Care Performance Improvement programme and as a result has eliminated the problem of excessively long waits for routine orthopaedic surgery. By December last year Tallaght had reached the Minister's target of having no patient waiting for in-patient or daycase surgery for more than 12 months for all specialties, including orthopaedics. As of the end of March 2012, Tallaght has 17 adults waiting > 9 months. There are no children waiting > 3 months. Tallaght is continuing to make consistent and sustained progress towards ensuring that no adult patient waits longer than 9 months for surgery in 2012. The following table details the Orthopaedic surgical waiting list for Tallaght.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Months

0 to 3

3 to 6

6 to 9

9 to 12

24+

Totals

Paeds

3

0

0

0

0

3

Adults

217

164

117 (6 to 12)*

38

18

554

*Only have a combined 6-12 months figure for July 2011.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Months

0 to 3

3 to 6

6 to 9

9 to 12

24+

Totals

Paeds

3

0

0

0

0

3

Adults

305

268

98

17

0

688

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