Written Answers - National Treatment Purchase Fund

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 708 No. 4

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  152.  Deputy Eamon Gilmore  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   if a company (details supplied) is contracted by the National Treatment Purchase Fund to carry out scans on patients on the waiting list for the Eye and Ear Hospital; if the CTs are actually completed in St. Vincent’s using St. Vincent’s equipment, and the private company concerned pays St. Vincent’s for the work; the reason the involvement of a private company is necessary in this process; if it would not be more efficient and economical for the NTPF to deal directly with St. Vincent’s; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19557/10]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  The NTPF’s primary remit is to facilitate patients who have been waiting longest for treatment on hospital waiting lists.

The Fund is obliged as a matter of policy, to source at least 90% of treatment from the private hospital system. The purchase of capacity from the public hospital system is to allow for activity in areas, such as paediatric surgery, which cannot be carried out in private hospitals, but this activity must not adversely affect core services. In 2009, the NTPF sourced 6% of its activity from the public hospital system.

In addition to arranging inpatient care, the NTPF has conducted a number of out-patient initiatives including arranging diagnostic procedures. The NTPF has such an arrangement in place with St Vincent’s University Hospital for the referral of some public patients for radiology investigations. These services are provided in a private clinic, in line with the Fund’s general approach to the purchase of services for public patients.

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