Press Release

Callely sees Treatment Purchase Fund progress in 2003 as a key target

Ivor Callely TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children has today (27 January) welcomed the progress made under the National Treatment Purchase Fund saying “the NTPF is making steady progress and has treated over 2,000 patients to date”.

“The Government has allocated €31m in 2003 to the Treatment Purchase Fund. This will mean that a lot of patients on waiting lists can receive the treatment they need easily and within a short period of time. All they have to do is contact their doctor or the Fund directly on 1890 720 820“, the Minister continued.

Minister Callely said “I am determined to see further progress made in 2003 in reducing hospital waiting lists. The NTPF is good value for money and the bottom line is that it represents ´improved access´ for patients.”

The Minister accepted that certain reforms are required in the health services especially in areas where there are clear ´bottle necks´ such as in Accident & Emergency Departments.

Minister Callely said “I welcome both constructive advice and practical criticism. What health service practitioners need is a wave of positive thinking. There has been enough defeatism and denigration. The time has come to be positive – most patients have a good experience of the health service and receive an excellent quality of care. The time has come to appreciate our dedicated practitioners and all the good work being carried out.”

The Minister concluded by saying “I would ask that we increase out concentration on what can be achieved with the resources at our disposal in the health services and seek out efficient methods through which we can make progress. This Government has set clear targets for the reduction of waiting lists by the end of 2004 and further progress through the NTPF (coupled with over €43m in Waiting List Initiative funding) is a key target for 2003.”