Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (263)

Stephen Donnelly


263. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if the NTPF report on private healthcare in public hospitals will be made available. [48554/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Earlier this year, I published the Report of the Independent Review Group, which examined private activity in public hospitals.

The present mixed system in our public acute hospitals has evolved over decades, with an undue focus on responding to the needs of certain groups - consultants, private patients, generation of additional non-exchequer revenue by hospitals - over the needs of the broader patient cohort and the public good. Ireland is now an international outlier on private medicine in public hospitals. Other countries with strong public hospital systems do not tolerate the inefficiencies and perverse incentives that arise with having a stream of private patients. The Sláintecare and the de Buitléir reports together present an opportunity to design a public hospital service with a coherent vision, with the patient and the public good at its heart. I have committed to reverting to Government with proposals in this regard over the coming months.

As part of its consideration on the recommendations contained within the report, my officials consulted with the a number of bodies including the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on the implications of the recommendations. The NTPF was asked to consider the impact on capacity and waiting lists. The NTPF has advised my Department waiting times will decrease because of a reordering of queuing and a deprioritisation of private patients and will result in a modest increase in capacity. This work is ongoing and I will revert to Government in due course.