Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ceisteanna (1048)

Alan Kelly


1048. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the amount of extra diagnostics he plans to put into acute and non-acute settings in 2020. [14879/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The HSE advises that a pilot project commenced in 2016 by the HSE Acute Hospitals Division to progress the collection of national radiology waiting list data. The project has been supported by the Radiology Clinical Care Programme and has involved key stakeholders across the system including the National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) Team, Hospital Groups, and the support of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) for data collection and data management expertise.

At present, the pilot project collects data relating to CT, MRI and Ultrasound. In Q1 2020, there were a total of 190,373 patients reported on the waiting list from all sites, this represents all outpatients waiting, urgent, semi urgent, routine and planned/surveillance (where diagnostic access is planned at particular time intervals).

The HSE is currently rolling out a diagnostics plan that envisages a range of diagnostic/imaging services being provided across all Community Healthcare Organisations with the support of hospitals and private providers, with a particular focus on improving GP access to ultrasound. The Deputy may wish to note that in 2019, there were 67,000 ultrasound and 79,500 x-rays delivered via GP access to radiology services.

In terms of medium-term planning for additional diagnostic capacity, the National Development Plan states that, new dedicated ambulatory elective only hospital facilities will be introduced in Dublin, Galway and Cork. As per the Development plan, these facilities will provide high volume, low complexity procedures on a day and outpatient basis, together with a range of ambulatory diagnostic services.

As part of the wider Sláintecare implementation, the Elective Hospitals Oversight Group, established by the Department of Health, is currently developing a high-level facilities spatial brief and order of magnitude costs which details the elective clustering of appropriate activities for each of the three facilities in Dublin, Cork and Galway. This will also include an output and facility specification, based on efficient and effective service delivery, which will include diagnostic procedures. This is due to be completed in the Autumn of 2020.