Number of people on waiting list for outpatient hospital appointment reaches 515,500

The number of people waiting for an outpatient hospital appointment stood at more than 515,500, according to the latest figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF).

This was an increase by 1000 on the previous month.

According to the waiting list data, there were 1,471 fewer public patients waiting for an appointment for elective surgery at the end of September compared to August.

The NTPF also published an update on the 2018 Inpatient Daycase Action Plan which shows that the number waiting on the active inpatient or daycase list was 72,718.

This is a 16% decrease on the peak figure of more than 86,000 in July 2017.

NTPF Chief Executive Liam Sloyan said: “The number of patients on the waiting list for elective surgery has been steadily falling over the past 14 months, with almost 1,500 fewer patients waiting for treatment at the end of September than at the end of August.

"Working with the HSE and the Department of Health, the NTPF has been very active tackling Inpatient / Day Case waiting lists this year.

We have made a particular impact in reducing the numbers of patients waiting for the highest volume procedures and reducing the number of people waiting more than nine months for their procedure, achieving a 32% decrease since July 2017.

"Real progress has been made for public patients and the NTPF will use its increased €75m 2019 budget efficiently and effectively to build on this work next year," he said.

Commenting on this month’s figures, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, stated: “Irish patients want and deserve timely access to hospital procedures and appointments. The investment this Government has made in this area, through both the HSE and the NTPF, is delivering and I am pleased to see that the number of patients on waiting list has fallen again this month.

"For inpatient and daycase procedures (IPDC), the number of patients on the waiting list now stands at 72,700.

"From the peak of 86,100 in July 2017, this represents a 16% reduction in the overall number of patients waiting for an inpatient or day case procedure and a 32% reduction in the number of patients waiting over 9 months.

"In Budget 2019 the Government has further increased investment in this area, with funding to the NTPF increase from €55 million in 2018 to €75 million in 2019.

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

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