Written Answers - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 681 No. 5

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  74.  Deputy Dinny McGinley  Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the length of time that a patient has to be on a waiting list in Letterkenny General Hospital, County Donegal, [120]before qualifying to be treated under the National Treatment Purchase Fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18337/09]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The management of waiting lists generally is a matter for the HSE and the individual hospitals concerned. The National Treatment Purchase Fund arranges treatment for patients who have been on a public surgical waiting list for more than three months. It is open to the person in question or anyone acting on their behalf to contact the Fund directly in relation to their case.

At my request, the NTPF, working with the HSE and the hospitals, has focused in particular on reducing the number of persons waiting for more than 12 months for treatment. I am pleased to say that, as a result of the efforts made by all concerned during 2008, the total number of persons waiting over 12 months was reduced by 66%, from 4,637 to 1,576, between December 2007 and December 2008. This improvement was also reflected in Letterkenny General Hospital, which reduced its total number of persons waiting over 12 months by over 75% during the same period.

While these improvements are encouraging, I have indicated to the HSE and the NTPF that work must continue in 2009 in order to ensure that no patient has to wait longer than 12 months for hospital treatment. It is possible that a number of those classified as waiting for more than one year are not in fact still awaiting treatment, or that they have declined an offer of treatment. I have asked the NTPF and the HSE to validate the numbers recorded to ensure that we have a fully accurate picture, and to arrange for treatment in the case of patients who are still in need of a service.

  75.  Deputy Dinny McGinley  Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal who has been on the waiting list for Letterkenny General Hospital for a hip replacement will qualify to be treated under the National Treatment Purchase Fund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18338/09]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. The National Treatment Purchase Fund arranges treatment for patients who have been on a surgical waiting list for more than three months. It is open to the person in question or anyone acting on their behalf to contact the Fund directly in relation to their case.

  76.  Deputy Ciarán Lynch  Information on Ciaran Lynch  Zoom on Ciaran Lynch   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the number of patients on the National Treatment Purchase Fund waiting list by category in the Health Service Executive south region; the number of patients waiting for one year, two years, three years or more; the action being taken to deal with the backlog; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18343/09]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  At my request, the NTPF, working with the HSE and the hospitals, has focused in particular on reducing the number of persons waiting for more than twelve months for treatment. I am pleased to say that, as a result of the efforts made by all concerned during 2008, the total number of persons recorded as waiting over 12 months was reduced by 66%, from 4,637 to 1,576, between December 2007 and December 2008. This improvement was also reflected in the HSE Southern Hospitals Group, which halved the total number of persons waiting over 12 months during the same period. While these improvements are encouraging, I have indicated to the HSE and the NTPF that [121]work must continue in 2009 in order to ensure that no patient has to wait longer than 12 months for hospital treatment.

I attach a table with the statistical information requested by the Deputy. The data presented must however be regarded as subject to change. I have asked the NTPF and the HSE to validate the numbers recorded as waiting for 12 months or longer in all hospitals to ensure that we have a fully accurate picture, and to arrange for treatment in the case of patients who are still in need of a service. It is possible that a number of those classified as waiting for more than one year are not in fact still awaiting treatment, or that they have declined an offer of treatment.

Hospitals 1 – 2 years 2 – 3 years 3 years plus
Cork University 37 8 6
Mercy University 23 0 0
Mallow General 0 0 0
Kerry General 0 0 0
Bantry General 0 0 0
South Infirmary 9 2 0


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