Written Answers - National Treatment Purchase Fund.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 696 No. 2

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  133.  Deputy Michael Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the amount of money paid by her to the National Treatment Purchase Fund in 2007 and 2008; the number of procedures carried out on foot of those payments in tabular format; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43773/09]

  137.  Deputy Michael Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the payments made by her to the National Treatment Purchase Fund to date in 2009; the projected final amount for 2009; the expected number of procedures to be carried out on foot of those payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43786/09]

[284]

  138.  Deputy Michael Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if she will confirm that moneys are owed to hospitals by the National Treatment Purchase Fund for procedures carried out at those hospitals under the scheme; the amount in question; when they are expected to be paid; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43787/09]

  139.  Deputy Michael Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the number of procedures and the expenditure per year of procedures carried out outside the State under the National Treatment Purchase Fund in 2007, 2008 and to date in 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43788/09]

  140.  Deputy Michael Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if moneys are owed to hospitals outside the State from the National Treatment Purchase Fund for procedures carried out under that scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43789/09]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I propose to take Questions Nos. 133 and 137 to 140, inclusive, together.

To date, the National Treatment Purchase Fund has provided over 150,000 public patients with in-patient procedures and out-patient appointments. The median waiting time for medical and surgical patients is now 2.4 months, down from 2.5 years in 2002 and the shortest median waiting time recorded by the NTPF. The Fund envisages achieving targets for 2009 of 18,875 inpatients treated, 2,500 MRIs provided and 5,600 first time outpatient appointments arranged. At my request, the NTPF is working actively with the HSE to focus on people waiting more than 12 months for treatment. I am pleased to say that the number of such cases fell from 4,637 in December 2007 to under 971 in October 2009. The two organisations continue to work on this issue, with a view to ensuring that no person is on a waiting list for surgery for longer than 12 months. With regard to the Deputy’s query concerning payment of hospitals for NTPF procedures, the NTPF agrees payment terms contractually with each hospital. Prices are negotiated in advance of treatment and include costs for the entire episode of care, including routine visits before and after surgery, medical professional fees and hospital accommodation. The NTPF is invoiced on completion of treatment and it then processes payments without undue delay. Where an institution has an issue over payments, it should contact the NTPF directly. The figures requested by the Deputy are set out in the following table:

NTPF Activity 2007-2009

Year Allocation Total number of patients treated Numbers treated abroad (UK and Northern Ireland) Cost of treatment abroad
€m €m
2007 91.75 32,638 848 (inc. 82 UK) 3.397
2008 104.64 36,269 710 (inc. 2 UK) 2.289
2009 90.30
(€89.50 to date)
26,975
(estimated)
1,024 (Nil UK) 2.036


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