Overall number of people on hospital waiting lists falls in October

Overall number of people on hospital waiting lists falls in October

The number of people who are on hospital waiting lists fell against last month, according to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF).

717 fewer public patients were awaiting treatment for elective surgery at the end of October compared to September, their updated report on the 2018 Inpatient Daycase Access Plan said.

The number of patients on the active inpatient /daycase waiting list reduced by 14,110 (16%) to 72,001 since peaking at the end of July 2017.

The number of patients waiting more than nine months for treatment also reduced by 10,572 (38%) since then.

However, the number of patients waiting for a first hospital outpatient consultation rose last month to 516,363, an increase of almost 700.

The data, released by the NTPF today, showed that 17,882 patients are waiting to receive an appointment for their GI Endoscopy, while 516,363 patients are waiting for a first hospital outpatient consultation.

NTPF Chief Executive Liam Sloyan said that the group, together with the HSE and Department of Health, has made "real progress" to improve waiting times for inpatients in recent months.

"We look forward to making more progress in the coming months and in 2019,” he said.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he was "pleased" to see that the number of people on waiting lists had decreased again in October.

"The ongoing collaboration between the HSE and NTPF has led to improvements to the waiting lists for particular specialties, for example since July 2017 there has been: an 82% reduction in the number of patients waiting over 9 months for a Cataract procedure; a 74% reduction in the number waiting over 9 months for a tonsillectomy and an 83% reduction in patients waiting over 9 months for an angiogram," he said.

We accept there is more work to be done and that is why in Budget 2019 the Government has further increased investment in this area.

"Funding to the NTPF will increase from €55m in 2018 to €75m in 2019.

As a result, the number of patients waiting for a hospital procedure is projected to fall to below 59,000 by the end of 2019," he said.

Digital Desk

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