Press Release

Hospital waiting lists continue to fall

Minister Martin welcomes fall of 5,000 since January this year

The waiting lists which currently stand at 31,851 represents a decrease of 5,000 since the beginning of the year. The figure represents a decrease of 2,485 from January to March this year and a further 2,519 since March to date.

The Minister welcomes the continued reduction which reflects the additional resources and priority he has given to tackling waiting lists.

“I am very encouraged by this significant decrease in waiting lists, which I have given a major priority to. This decrease is a continuation of a downward trend in waiting lists which I am confident will continue for the remainder of this year” the Minister said.

The Minister is heartened by progress in the area since taking office. Significant decreases have taken place in a number of specialties since December 1999 as follows:

Specialty – Decrease

  • Gynaecology – 29%
  • Cardiac Surgery – 28%
  • Orthopaedics – 21%
  • Ophthalmology – 17%
  • Urology – 15%
  • General Surgery -12%

Activity levels in relation to waiting lists are being monitored closely. Indicative additional funding was notified to the health agencies in May of this year, on the understanding that the balance of the funding would be allocated on the basis of performance.

The Minister said “A review of the performance of each health agency in this respect will take place at the end of the month. Hospitals and agencies who have reached the waiting list activity targets agreed at that time will receive additional funding.”