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HSE group to oversee scheduling initiatives

01 Jul 2016

The HSE scheduled care governance group will coordinate key initiatives to reduce waiting times and the number of patients awaiting treatment, the Dáil has been told.

The initiatives will be funded by the continuing investment of €50 million per year to reduce waiting lists. The amount includes ring-fenced funding of €15 million in 2017 for the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF).

“That will allow us to balance demand and capacity in acute hospital services and utilise primary, social and community care services to support the health of citizens,” said Minister of State for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran Kennedy.

Actions overseen by the group include driving greater adherence to chronological scheduling, relocation of low-complexity surgical procedures to smaller hospitals and administrative and clinical validation procedures to ensure that patients are available for treatment. In addition, each hospital group has been mandated to designate a key person to lead and support waiting list management improvements in order to advance towards compliance with maximum waiting times.

“In the health system as a whole there has been a considerable and increasing demand for care. We are now seeing in a year approximately 3.2 million outpatient attendances at hospitals, while 100,000 patients have an elective inpatient procedure and more than 800,000 have a planned day-case procedure. Clearly, that has increased pressure on waiting times,” the Minister said.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times