Press Release

Hospital Waiting Lists Decreasing

Minister Martin welcomes reduction of 19.5% since January 2000

The waiting lists figure of 29,657 at 30 September 2000 represents a decrease of 7,198 since the beginning of the year. The figure also represents a decrease of 2,194 (6.9%) from the end of June quarter.

The Minister welcomes the continued reduction which reflects the additional resources and priority he has given to tackling waiting lists. The Minister also acknowledges that a number of hospitals have carried out validation procedures as part of an on-going exercise, and this contributes to the overall reduction in the 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 “, the Minister said.

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

Specialty Decrease
Gynaecology 46%
Cardiac Surgery 36%
Orthopaedics 25%
Ophthalmology 23%
General Surgery 22%
Urology 19%


Activity levels in relation to waiting lists are being monitored closely. Additional funding was allocated to the health agencies earlier this year bringing total investment in 2000 to £34.5 million.

The Minister said “It is my intention to continue to take all available steps to address the short and longer term issues associated with lengthy waiting lists and waiting times”.