I propose to take Questions Nos. 196 to 201, inclusive, together.
I am conscious that waiting times are often unacceptably long and of the burden that this places on patients and their families. In this regard, I committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.
Budget 2019 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) increasing from €55 million in 2018 to €75 million in 2019.
A key element of this Plan is the stabilisation of the Outpatient Waiting List which remains a significant challenge. The HSE, in line with the National Service Plan 2019 will provide 3.3 million outpatient appointments, more than 1 million of which will be first outpatient appointments.
In addition, the NTPF will fund an additional 40,000 first outpatient appointments through weekend and out of hour’s clinics and ‘see and treat’ clinics.
In relation to the particular queries raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.