Press Release

Minister Harris publishes Action Plan to reduce the number of patients waiting for hospital operations or procedures

NTPF to offer treatment to all patients who are for waiting more than 9 months for number of high volume procedures – including cataract, hip and knee replacement, tonsils and scopes

The Minister for Health Simon Harris today published a new Action Plan to reduce the number of patients waiting for hospital operations or procedures. The Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan 2018 has been compiled by the Department of Health, the Health Service Executive and the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
In 2018 the HSE will deliver 1.14 million hospital operations or procedures and the NTPF will deliver 20,000 Inpatient Day Case treatments and 4,000 Gastro Intestinal Scopes.

Under the Action Plan 2018:

  • the number of patients waiting longer than 9 months will fall by 10,000.
  • the NTPF commits to offer treatment to all patients waiting more than 9 months for treatment in a number of high volume specialities – including cataract, hip and knee replacement, tonsils and scopes
  • The overall number of patients waiting for hospital operations and procedures will fall to under 70,000 by year end.

Inpatient/ Day Case Action Plan 2018

Welcoming the plan, Minister Simon Harris said: “The plan published today marks a very important milestone in delivering on the Government’s increased investment to tackle waiting lists. In 2017, through the work of the NTPF and the HSE the annual increase in the overall number of persons waiting for a hospital procedure was halted. This year, under this new plan, we will see a significant reduction in the number waiting for a procedure. The target is that the overall number will fall to under 70,000 by the end of the year – from a peak of 86,100 in July 2017. All patients who are waiting more than 9 months for a cataract, hip and/or knee replacement, tonsils, Gastro Intestinal scope or one of four other high-volume treatments will be offered treatment in 2018 if clinically suitable. While the improvements set out in the plan are significant, they are just the start and my ambition is to build upon this progress in 2019 and to further reduce waiting time for Irish patients. I will also shortly be publishing a plan to tackle Outpatient waiting lists.”.

Commenting, NTPF CEO Liam Sloyan, said, “In recent months, working together, the NTPF and HSE have delivered real progress for public patients waiting for elective surgery.  With increased funding in 2018, we look forward to arranging treatment for a greater number of patients over a broader range of procedures and seeing the number of patients waiting for surgery decline.”

Commenting, HSE Director General Tony O’ Brien, said, “The HSE welcomes the funding of €55 million that has been made available to the NTPF, and the funding provided to the HSE this year to tackle waiting lists. It will continue to work collaboratively with the NTPF to target appropriate solutions for long waiters and will seek to build on the successful initiatives undertaken in 2017 in our public and private hospitals. In 2018, we plan to carry out 1.14 million elective procedures as part of our core activity levels. The NTPF activity will augment this activity and support sustained delivery of improved wait times.”