Press Release

Minister Simon Harris keen to see new €7 million fund for hip & knee replacements and scoliosis operations take effect

The €40 million additional funding secured by Minister Harris includes a €7m fund for a targeted waiting list programme for orthopaedics, spinal and scoliosis procedures. Over 600 patients will no longer be on waiting lists, by year end, as part of the HSE Winter Initiative 2016-2017.

The aim of this element of the plan is to reduce the numbers of people waiting for orthopaedic, spinal and scoliosis procedures in designated sites.

Specific actions include provision of €3m for an additional 570 orthopaedic procedures at the National Tertiary Referral Centre at Cappagh and €2m for additional orthopaedic procedures in Beaumont, Tallaght, Tullamore, Waterford and Galway with the objective of achieving the 18 month waiting list target by year end. A further €2m is also provided specifically for scoliosis patients to treat the 39 adolescent patients on the Tallaght waiting list and an additional 15-20 paediatric patients by year end.

Commenting on this aspect of the Plan, the Minister for Health said, “I particularly welcome the focus on improving access to orthopaedic procedures. We need to put people out of their pain and give them a new lease of life with new hips and knees. I am also adamant that the specific measures to address scoliosis waiting lists for adolescents and children be delivered. Timely procedures for these children is critical to give them the best possible chance to grow up with a good quality of life.’

For the duration of the plan, the management and clinical governance arrangements across each hospital will be monitored carefully and will report progress on a weekly basis.