Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. Budget 2020 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the National Treatment Purchase fund (NTPF) increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2019. The year-on-year increases to the NTPF since Budget 2017 reflect this Government’s priority to improve waiting times for patients to access hospital treatment.
My Department is working with the HSE and the NTPF to develop the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2020. In this regard, the HSE National Service Plan 2020 will set out a planned activity level for the year ahead, while the NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to reduce inpatient/day case, with a particular focus on improving access to hospital outpatient services.
In 2020, the NTPF will further expand its list of targeted inpatient and daycase procedures to support further significant reductions in wait times as well as increasing funding towards supporting full packages of care for patients on the outpatient waiting lists, to include the surgery or treatment where required.
In relation to the particular query raised by the deputy, the table attached shows the waiting list figures by time band for a first Outpatient appointment with an Endocrinologist at University Hospital Limerick at the end of October.