Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (386)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

386. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health the status of proposals for Nenagh Hospital to become a hub for cataract surgery here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5301/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Last year I launched the Inpatient / Day Case Action Plan for 2018. Under this Plan I wanted to see real progress to drive down waiting lists not only for high volume procedures but also to treat patients with life-limiting procedures such as cataracts.

I asked the HSE and NTPF to work together to develop sustainable solutions to tackle waiting lists. One such solution was the dedicated UL Hospital Cataract Centre at Nenagh Hospital which I officially opened last November. This is a stand-alone high-volume consultant-led cataract theatre facility which, at full capacity, will provide a 5-day service, which is expected to deliver 2,000 cataract procedures in 2019. This initiative will have a very positive impact, given its central location, by providing capacity for cataract surgery for patients on public hospital waiting lists in the surrounding geographical areas.

The establishment of this dedicated centre is an excellent example of how collaboration between hospitals and the National Treatment Purchase Fund can result in innovative solutions which ultimately drive better outcomes for our patients.

I hope to publish the joint Department of Health/HSE/NTPF Scheduled Care Access Plan 2019 for inpatient, day case and outpatients shortly. This will reflect activity targets from the HSE, in line with the National Service Plan, to reduce waiting times across specialties and improve access to appointments and procedures. The plan will also set out activity levels for the NTPF in line with their increased allocation of funding totalling €75 million in 2019.