169. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Health the plans the HSE has to support University Hospital Kerry to reduce the three-year wait time for a routine ENT outpatient appointment at the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19387/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Improving waiting times for hospital procedures and outpatient appointments is a key commitment in the Programme for Government. While the Inpatient and Day Case (IPDC) Action Plan was published in April to address waiting times for IPDC procedures, the Outpatient waiting list remains a significant challenge to be addressed in 2018. 
Each year, 3.3 million patients attend Hospital Outpatient clinics for appointments. A number of steps are being taken ...

24. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health his plans to reduce waiting lists for ophthalmology treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17006/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Improving waiting times for hospital procedures is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and in 2018 €50 million was allocated to the NTPF to provide treatment for patients. The recently launched Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan outlines the combined impact of HSE and NTPF activity in 2018 to reduce the number of patients waiting for treatment to below 70,000 in 2018. This plan marks a very important milestone in delivering on this commitment.
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47. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which he is satisfied that issues affecting long waiting lists in public hospitals, overcrowding at accident and emergency services and other contributory factors affecting the fast, efficient and effective delivery of public health services are fully addressed or are in the course of so being; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17024/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): This Government is committed to tackling the key challenges our health system faces in relation to hospital overcrowding and long waiting times for treatment. 
Against a background of growing demand for hospital services care and high acute hospital occupancy rates, Government provided €30 million in 2017 and a further €40 million in 2018 for measures to increase acute hospital capacity and alleviate overcrowding in Emergency Departments (EDs). Refl...

849. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the steps he is taking to address the serious increase in hospital waiting lists over the past seven years; if his Department is making proposals to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for additional funding in this regard over the remainder of 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15752/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Improving waiting times for hospital procedures is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and the recently launched Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan 2018 marks a very important milestone in delivering on this commitment.
The action plan outlines the steps being taken by Government to reduce the number of patients waiting for hospital operations or procedures.  
Under the action plan 2018: 
- the number of patients waiting longer than 9 months wi...

7. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Health the extra support that will be provided to University Hospital Limerick in 2018 to reduce waiting times for a first-time appointment to see a neurologist in view of the fact that 418 persons had been waiting more than 18 months for appointments at the end of 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6421/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Deputy Billy Kelleher: I ask the Minister for Health what extra support will be provided to University Hospital Limerick in 2018 to reduce waiting times for a first-time appointment to see a neurologist in view of the fact that 418 persons had been waiting more than 18 months for appointments at the end of 2017.
 ...

70. Deputy Frank O’Rourke asked the Minister for Health if there is a targeted investment programme in place for spinal surgery services at Tallaght Hospital to deal with the waiting lists; if provision will be made for an additional surgical operating theatre in view of the fact that at present Tallaght Hospital is renting theatre space from a private hospital to deal with deteriorating waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6104/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting times for patients is one of the Government’s key priorities. 
Throughout 2017, the HSE and NTPF worked together to drive down long wait times for Inpatient and Daycase procedures. Over 29,000 patients came off the Inpatient/Daycase waiting list by the end of October . 
In order to continue the strong focus on reducing waiting times for scheduled care, Budget 2018 included an allocation of additional funding to fund further waiting lis...

71. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take to reduce waiting lists for ophthalmology services at the Mercy University Nospital Cork and the South Infirmary-Victoria Hospital Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6295/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I acknowledge that waiting times for Ophthalmology patients are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the impact of this on people’s lives. 
Data from the National Treatment Purchase Fund indicates that as of 29 December 2017 there were 23 people waiting for an outpatient Ophthalmology appointment in Mercy University Hospital and 13 people waiting for an Inpatient/Daycase procedure. There was also 1,009 people waiting on an Ophthalmology Inpat...

84. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Health the targets in place for outpatient waiting times in Sligo university hospital in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6426/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting times for patients is one of the Government’s key priorities. In addition, all patients are prioritised according to clinical need. 
The HSE Outpatient Waiting List Action Plan 2017 contained a specific target to reduce by 50% the number of patients who would be waiting 15 months or more for outpatient appointments by the end of October 2017. The Plan aimed to remove over 95,000 patients from the Outpatient Waiting List. This target...

88. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health the steps he will take to reduce waiting lists for gynecological services at the Cork university maternity hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6296/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting times for patients is one of the Government’s key priorities. 
Data from the National Treatment Purchase Fund indicates, that as of 29 December 2017, there were 3,790 people waiting for Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) gynaecology outpatient services and 425 people waiting for gynaecology inpatient/daycase services. Of this number, approximately 48% (202 people) were waiting less than 6 months for outpatient services and 46% ...

198. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Health the approximate waiting time for the diabetic retinol screening clinic in the eye and ear hospital, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. (Question 6537/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): In relation to the particular query raised, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to the Deputy directly.
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224. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which waiting lists have been addressed in respect of various procedures, including hip and or heart operations and other surgical procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6618/18 asked on 08 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): Reducing waiting times for patients is one of the Government’s key priorities. 
Throughout 2017, the HSE and NTPF worked together to drive down long wait times for Inpatient and Daycase procedures. Over 29,000 patients came off the Inpatient/Daycase waiting list by the end of October . 
At present 57% of patients on the Inpatient / Daycase Waiting List wait less than 6 months, and 84% wait less than 12 months for their procedure. This is despite the a...

451. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason the HSE has discontinued waiting-list targets set in 2017; the number of persons who will be affected; the number of complex cases that are still waiting for surgery; if new more ambitious targets will be now set; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6064/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The NTPF publishes the Inpatient/Daycase and Outpatient waiting list figures by specialty for each hospital on its website each month. This information is available at www.NTPF.ie. The NTPF does not collect data in relation to the number of complex cases within each time-band. The most recent figures published by the NTPF for the end of December 2017 indicate that there is a total of 81,468 people on the Inpatient/Day case waiting list, of which 14,867...

289. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if the four-month target for persons with scoliosis for 2017 has been discontinued and does not appear in the programme for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52800/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 290 together.
The HSE Action Plan for Scoliosis set out a short to medium term strategy aiming to ensure that no patient requiring surgery for scoliosis would have to wait longer than four months for such surgery by the end of 2017. The action undertaken this year included additional activity within our paediatric hospitals, which was facilitated by the staff recruitment campaigns this year, and outsourcing init...

290. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health if an immediate independent clinical review of scoliosis services will be agreed to in view of the failure to meet scoliosis targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52801/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 289 and 290 together.
The HSE Action Plan for Scoliosis set out a short to medium term strategy aiming to ensure that no patient requiring surgery for scoliosis would have to wait longer than four months for such surgery by the end of 2017. The action undertaken this year included additional activity within our paediatric hospitals, which was facilitated by the staff recruitment campaigns this year, and outsourcing init...

159. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Health the steps that are being taken to reduce the waiting lists for ophthalmology services in County Galway; the expected timeframe for the service to return to normal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48537/17 asked on 16 Nov 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy. 
 ...

95. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Health his plans for eliminating waiting times of more than 12 weeks for inpatient procedures, 10 weeks for outpatient appointments and 10 days for diagnostic tests. (Question 48178/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I acknowledge that waiting times are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the burden that this places on patients and their families.
Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government’s key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018. Budget 2018 allocated additional funding in the region of €10m for the remainder of 2017 to fund patient treatment across...

184. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the success to date in the reduction of hospital waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48443/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 184, 185, 187 and 188 together.
I acknowledge that waiting times are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the burden that this places on patients and their families.
Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government’s key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018. Budget 2018 allocated additional funding in the region of...

185. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if he has satisfied himself that he can reduce the waiting times for various hospital treatments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48444/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 184, 185, 187 and 188 together.
I acknowledge that waiting times are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the burden that this places on patients and their families.
Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government’s key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018. Budget 2018 allocated additional funding in the region of...

187. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which the National Treatment Purchase Fund is expected to deal with waiting lists for specific procedures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48446/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 184, 185, 187 and 188 together.
I acknowledge that waiting times are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the burden that this places on patients and their families.
Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government’s key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018. Budget 2018 allocated additional funding in the region of...

188. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health the extent to which specific issues or deficiencies in the system which have resulted in backlogs and waiting lists in the public hospital system have been identified; his plans to resolve these issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48447/17 asked on 15 Nov 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 184, 185, 187 and 188 together.
I acknowledge that waiting times are often unacceptably long and I am conscious of the burden that this places on patients and their families.
Reducing waiting times for the longest waiting patients is one of this Government’s key priorities. Consequently, Budget 2017 allocated €20 million to the NTPF, rising to €55 million in 2018. Budget 2018 allocated additional funding in the region of...

363. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the progress regarding the commitments he made in respect of reducing surgery waiting times for children with scoliosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42825/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE is actively implementing the action plan they developed to ensure that no child will be waiting over 4 months by year end and are focussed on maximising all available capacity both internally and externally to achieve this target. 
Additional nurses are now in post in both Crumlin and Temple Street. An additional consultant orthopaedic surgeon commenced last month in Crumlin. So far in 2017, 272 scoliosis procedures have been carried out acros...

56. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Health the reason the scoliosis waiting list targets were missed; the steps he is taking to address the problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40780/17 asked on 28 Sep 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE is actively implementing the action plan they developed to ensure that no child will be waiting over 4 months by year end and are focussed on maximising all available capacity both internally and externally to achieve this target.
Additional nurses are now in post in both Crumlin and Temple Street. An additional consultant orthopaedic surgeon commenced in Crumlin in early September. Up to 22 September the two children’s hospitals have already ...

145. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Health if no child will have to wait longer than four months for a scoliosis operation by the end of 2017. (Question 40952/17 asked on 28 Sep 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): The HSE and the Children’s Hospital Group are actively implementing the action plan they developed to ensure that no child will be waiting over 4 months by year end and are focussed on maximising all available capacity both internally and externally to achieve this target. 
 ...

148. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Health the details of the agreement reached with Portland hospital and Franziskus hospital for the provision of surgery for children with scoliosis from Ireland; the type of surgery to be provided; the number of surgeries to be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41019/17 asked on 28 Sep 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 to 154, inclusive, together.
The HSE is actively implementing the action plan they developed to ensure that no child will be waiting over 4 months by year end and are focussed on maximising all available capacity both internally and externally to achieve this target. 
In relation to the queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
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149. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Health the surgery plan for the 68 identified children with complex medical needs that are awaiting surgery for scoliosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41020/17 asked on 28 Sep 2017 - Hospital Waiting Lists Action Plans)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 to 154, inclusive, together.
The HSE is actively implementing the action plan they developed to ensure that no child will be waiting over 4 months by year end and are focussed on maximising all available capacity both internally and externally to achieve this target. 
In relation to the queries raised by the Deputy, as these are service issues, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly.
 ...