Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Ceisteanna (168, 169, 170)

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

168. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of persons that have undergone cataract surgery in each of the years 2016 to 2018; and the cost of this surgery in each of these years. [1848/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

169. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the HSE locations at which cataract surgery is performed. [1849/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gerry Adams

Ceist:

170. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health the number of persons in each county awaiting cataract surgery; and the length of time they have been waiting. [1850/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 to 170, inclusive, together.

Improving access to hospital treatment is a key priority for Government.

Waiting list figures for December 2018, published last week by the NTPF show that considerable improvements have been made to the number of patients waiting for an Inpatient or Day case procedure which have fallen to 70,204 from the peak of 86,100 in July 2017. This represents a reduction of over 18% in the overall number of patients waiting for a procedure. Over the same period, the waiting lists for Cataracts has reduced from over 10,000 to 6,440 representing a reduction of 36%.

Furthermore, the number of patients waiting over 9 months has almost halved since July 2017 from 28,100 to 14,900. The impact is particularly noteworthy when one considers the improvements to the Waiting Lists for those particular specialties which were the focus of the Inpatient/Daycase Action Plan in 2018 including the numbers waiting over 9 months for a Cataract procedure which have fallen by 87% since July 2017.

My Department is working closely with the NTPF and the HSE to finalise a Scheduled Care Access Plan for inpatients/daycase and outpatients for 2019. In this regard, the NTPF and HSE will continue to work closely with Hospital Groups, inviting proposals to improve access for patients waiting for hospital procedures. .

The number of persons treated for Cataracts in 2017 was 2,983 and in 2018 was 6,764. The NTPF did not have a direct role in the commissioning of patient treatments in 2016. At that time, the procurement of treatments was carried out by the HSE and the role of the NTPF was in the administration of the payments to the hospitals. The expenditure on Ophthalmology was €5.7m in 2017 while the 2018 Annual Financial Statements have not been finalised.

The HSE locations at which cataract surgery is performed are:

- Children’s University Hospital Temple Street;

- Galway University Hospital;

- Letterkenny General Hospital;

- Mater Misericordiae University Hospital;

- Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital;

- Sligo Regional Hospital;

- South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital;

- St. Vincent s University Hospital;

- University Hospital Limerick;

- University Hospital Waterford;

- Nenagh Hospital; and

- Louth County Hospital.

The information requested by the Deputy regarding the number of persons in each county awaiting cataract surgery, is set out in the document in the following link.

Cataracts