Press Release

National Treatment Purchase Fund Treats Over 1,900 Patients To Date

The Minister for Health and Children today (January 9th) announced that the National Treatment Purchase Fund has treated 1,920 patients from its inception in July to end December, 2002. The Minister said he was pleased with the progress achieved to date. The number of patients being treated has risen to over 400 monthly. In 2002 the main operations provided were:

Varicose Veins 562
Cataracts 258
Excision of Cysts 163
Heart Operations and Investigations 136
Tonsils 129
Hernia Operations 76
Gall Bladder Operations 74
Prostate Operations 51
Others 471

The Agencies where most patients were treated were:

Western Health Board 315
Mater Hospital 313
St James’s Hospital 235
St Vincent’s Hospital 172
North East Health Board 149
Midland Health Board and South East Health Board 117 each
Mercy Hospital 100

The Agencies who achieved most in relation to the targets set out in the Health Strategywere:

St James’s Hospital
Midland Health Board
Southern Health Board
Mid West Health Board
St John’s Hospital

Mr Martin said that “while much has been achieved, there are still a lot of patients on hospital waiting lists who can receive treatment in a short space of time”. He pointed in particular to the capacity sourced in hospitals in the U.K. “200 patients can now be treated there per month. The travel arrangements have been put in place by the Fund. Adults can bring a travelling companion and a parent can accompany a child”. It will be necessary to refer patients to the U.K. if we are to clear the longest waiters (8305) by October this year”. The Minister added that “the Government has provided special funding of €31 million in 2003 for this purpose”.