Press Release

Minister Harris invests €50m in reducing waiting lists

  • NTPF to take 3,000 people off Endoscopy waiting list by end 2016
  • €50m from 2017 targetted at reducing waiting lists

Minister Harris today launched the National Treatment Purchase Fund’s Endoscopy Waiting List 2016 Initiative. Funding of just over €1m is being ring-fenced by the NTPF to outsource endoscopy procedures for those patients who are currently waiting over 12 months, or who would have been waiting over 12 months by the end of this year. It is expected that around 3,000 patients will be cared for under this Initiative which has been developed following close collaboration between the Department of Health, the NTPF and the HSE.

Commenting, Minister Harris said; “I committed to reactivating the NTPF within the first 100 days of this Government. The NTPF’s target for this Initiative is that by the end of the year, no patient will be waiting over 12 months for an endoscopy procedure. The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a continued investment of €50m per year to reduce waiting lists, at least €15m of which will go to the NTPF in 2017 to address those waiting the longest. I am determined to deliver on this commitment and am impatient to see major improvements for patients. I want people to have every opportunity for a better quality of life. It is a priority for me and I intend using this era of reinvestment in health to help those in most need. My Department has commenced engagement with the NTPF and the HSE to deliver on these waiting list commitments in the Programme for a Partnership Government.

“In relation to this current waiting list initiative, the NTPF will now work with public hospitals to ensure that the hospitals validate their waiting lists; identify patients who will be continue to be treated by the public hospital; and then identify those patients who will be offered outsourcing of their Endoscopy procedure to a private hospital.

“The RCSI Hospital Group is also undertaking an insourcing endoscopy initiative within its group of hospitals. Under this initiative, some patients on the endoscopy waiting list at Beaumont Hospital will have the opportunity to have their procedure carried out at other hospitals in the Group, such as Connolly or Cavan General Hospital. Beaumont Hospital will also participate in the NTPF Endoscopy Initaitive to support it in ensuring that it also reaches the target by the end of 2016.

“Over the coming months, my Department will engage on a regular basis with the NTPF and HSE to monitor progress on this Initiative”.