Improving access to hospital treatment is a key priority for government. Budget 2019 announced a funding increase from €55 million to €75 million to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to provide treatment for patients.
My Department is working closely with the NTPF and the HSE to finalise a Scheduled Care Access Plan for inpatients/day case and outpatients for 2019. In this regard, the NTPF and the HSE will continue to work closely with Hospital Groups, inviting proposals to improve access for patients waiting for either Inpatient/Daycase or Outpatient procedures.
The NTPF advise that the average wait time for an Outpatient appointment for Pain Relief in University Hospital Limerick is 354 days.
In relation to the patient query element of the question, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.