Press Release

Statement by Minister Varadkar on the HSE’s Performance Report for March

“The March HSE performance report shows some improvements as the health service recovered from a very busy winter period. Elective admissions and out-patient clinic attendances are running ahead of target and ahead of last year, which means that more patients are being seen in clinics and admitted to hospital without having to go through the Emergency Department.

“Elective inpatient admissions were almost 2% ahead of target compared to 0.6% below target in the year to February. Outpatients attendances were 3.6% ahead of target, compared to 0.3% ahead of target in the year to February.

“While waiting times continue to worsen, these figures indicate that hospitals are starting to catch up on procedures that were cancelled in the busy January period.

“As of March, the number of people working in the health service was over 900 higher than in January 2015 and is continuing to rise as recruitment resumes.

“Absenteeism is at an all-time monthly low, and 94% of hospitals have now complied with the maximum 24 hour shift for doctors.

“While delayed discharges rose slightly in March to 715, they have since fallen well under 700 and the trend is downwards. Patient Experience Times in Emergency Departments have improved, which indicates that people are spending less time in EDs.

“Targets for emergency colonoscopies, national ambulance service and palliative care are improving or are being met. The targets for referrals to cancer clinics under the National Cancer Control Programme were exceeded for breast cancer.

“Some 12,911 women attended Breastcheck in March. The aim is to screen 140,000 women throughout 2015 and 36,791 have been screened in the first three months of the year, which is 2.2% ahead of the year to date target. A total of 23,129 women were screened for cervical cancer during the month, with 76,086 screened in the year to date, 4.2% ahead of target.

“Enormous challenges remain including budget overruns, overspending on agency staff and increasing waiting times but it is encouraging that many things are now moving in the right direction. I expect to see further improvements in the coming months.”

Link to report: