Press Release

Minister Harris welcomes further reduction in the total number of patients waiting for both procedures and outpatient appointments

– 2,143 fewer patients waiting for procedures

– 788 fewer patients waiting for outpatient appointments

Minister for Health, Simon Harris has today (Wednesday) welcomed the fact that there has been another reduction in the total number of patients waiting for both procedures and outpatient appointments.

“The waiting list figures published today show that for the third month in a row the total numbers of patients on the Inpatient/Daycase waiting list have fallen, showing real progress for those patients waiting for a procedure. For the second month in a row there is also a decrease in the total number of patients waiting for an outpatient appointment.

“Comparing the Inpatient/Daycase Waiting List numbers for October 2017 with October 2016 shows that there has been a 20% reduction in the number of patients waiting over 15 months for inpatient or daycase procedures.

“The NTPF is transparently publishing more information on waiting lists than ever before.  It is important in analysing these figures that people take the time to differentiate between the separate categories.  Simply adding them all together presents an inaccurate and misleading picture.

“Since the HSE’s Waiting List Action Plans, the Inpatient Daycase Waiting List has been reduced by over 31,600 and the Outpatient Waiting Lists has been reduced by nearly 100,000.

“The HSE has utilised public hospital capacity to best effect and collaborated across hospitals group to treat as many patients as possible.

“The NTPF has worked with both public and private hospitals to arrange insourcing and outsourcing initiatives. Through these initiatives almost 17,000 patients have been offered treatment, and of these over 5,600 patients have accepted an offer of treatment and over 2,300 patients have received their procedure.

“A strong focus will continue to be placed on waiting lists until the end of 2017. To ensure this continued focus, the recent Budget announced additional funding in the region of €10m has been allocated for the remainder of 2017 to the NTPF to fund patient treatment across a range of key specialties and procedures, such as hips, knees cataracts, ear nose and throat, and others.

“In addition, further funding of €700,000 was allocated in October by the NTPF to roll out an Endoscopy Initiative for 2017. Around 700 of the longest waiting patients will receive endoscopy procedures. The NTPF’s aim is that, under this initiative, there should be no patients waiting greater than 18 months for an endoscopy at year end.

“In 2018 I want to build on this momentum and early planning is key. The recent Budget announced a total 2018 allocation of €55m to the NTPF to address waiting lists and more than doubles their 2017 total allocation.  Next year we will continue the focus on long-waiting patients and on reducing the overall waiting list numbers.

“Finally, I would like to acknowledge the substantial work by staff in hospitals throughout the course of the year in delivering necessary care to patients and working towards achieve the targets set as part of the Action Plans.”