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Hospital Waiting Lists

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 May 2016

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Ceisteanna (158)

Bernard Durkan


158. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the degree to which he can reduce waiting times for elective procedures in hospitals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8913/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Improving waiting times for scheduled care for patients is a key priority. In January 2015, I put in place maximum permissible waiting times for in-patient and day case treatment and outpatient appointments of 18 months by 30 Jun 2015 and 15 months by year end. The HSE was provided with additional funding to ensure that these maximum waiting times would be achieved by maximising capacity across public and voluntary hospitals as well as outsourcing activity where the capacity is not available to meet patient needs. HSE figures for end December 2015 show positive progress against the 15 months maximum wait time. For in-patient and day case waiting lists, overall performance equates to 95% achievement of the 15 month maximum permissible wait time and for outpatient waiting lists, overall performance equates to 93% achievement of the 15 month maximum permissible wait time.

This year, the HSE will focus on a number of activities to manage patient waiting times, including:

- ensuring that chronological scheduling is adhered to;

- putting in place administrative and clinical validation procedures to ensure that patients are available for treatment;

- relocating high-volume low complexity surgeries to smaller hospitals;

- outsourcing a percentage of patients where there is limited capacity to treat them in the public system; and

- designating an improvement lead for each hospital group, to provide support in meeting national targets for appointments and treatment.