Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (357)

Bernard Durkan


357. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the average length of time patients can expect to wait for orthopaedic procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49155/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Reducing waiting time for patients for hospital operations and procedures is a key priority for Government. In this regard, the Government is committed to improving waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures.

The latest published National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) figures for October show that there are 10,033 patients on the orthopaedics Inpatient and Daycase (IPDC) waiting list. Of these, 67% (6,743) are waiting 6 months or less, 80% (7,993) are waiting 9 months or less and 86% (8,616) are waiting 12 months or less.  In regard to orthopaedics long waiters, there are 1,417 patients waiting over 12 months, which shows a 14% decrease when compared to the same period last year. Overall, the orthopaedics IPDC waiting list has decreased by 6% (-672) when compared to the same period last year.

Under the Inpatient Day Case Access Plans for 2018 and 2019, Hip/Knee replacements were among the procedures targeted by the NTPF, and by the end of October 2019, the number of people waiting nationally for a Hip/Knee replacement procedure had decreased, from 3,476 in July 2017 to 2,586. In this same period, there has also been a reduction of 73% in the number of patients waiting over 9 months for a Hip/Knee replacement procedure. In this context, the NTPF has advised my Department that they have approved a number of IPDC proposals for orthopaedics in 2019, providing up to 2,038 procedures for patients.

Budget 2020 announced that the Government has further increased investment in tackling waiting lists, with funding to the NTPF increasing from €75 million in 2019 to €100 million in 2020.

My Department is working with the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund to develop the Scheduled Care Access Plan 2020. The National Service Plan 2020 will set out HSE planned activity level for the year ahead, while the NTPF will work with the hospital system to provide additionality to improve access to inpatient/daycase treatment and with a particular focus on hospital outpatient services.

In this regard, I would encourage all hospital groups and individual hospitals to engage with the NTPF to identify waiting list proposals for the remainder of this year and for 2020. 

The waiting times for Orthopaedic procedures is outlined in the document at the link.

Waiting times for Orthopaedic procedures