Last October’s Budget announced a total 2018 allocation of €55m for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) for 2018 which more than doubles its 2017 total allocation which was €20m. This significant increase in funding reflects the fact that reducing waiting times for patients is one of this Government's key priorities.
The Department of Health, the HSE and the NTPF are finalising an Inpatient/Daycase Action Plan 2018 which will set out ambitious targets for both the HSE and NTPF to reduce the overall number of patients waiting for treatment.
Under the Health Act 2004, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services. Section 6 of the HSE Governance Act 2013 bars the Minister for Health from directing the HSE to provide a treatment or a personal service to any individual or to confer eligibility on any individual.
The National Waiting List Management Policy, a standardised approach to managing scheduled care treatment for in-patient, day case and planned procedures, January 2014, has been developed to ensure that all administrative, managerial and clinical staff follow an agreed national minimum standard for the management and administration of waiting lists for scheduled care. This policy, which has been adopted by the HSE, sets out the processes that hospitals are to implement to manage waiting lists.
In relation to the particular queries raised, as these are service matters, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.