Funding Ring-Fenced To Tackle Hospital Waiting Lists

Funding of more than €1 million has been ring-fenced to help reduce waiting lists on the new National Treatment Purchase Fund's (NTPF) Endoscopy Waiting List 2016.

The funding will allow the NTPF to outsource endoscopy procedures for those patients who are currently waiting over 12 months, or who would have been waiting over 12 months by the end of this year. It is expected that around 3,000 patients will be cared for under this Initiative which has been developed following close collaboration between the Department of Health, the NTPF and the HSE.

Welcoming the announcement, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said: "I committed to reactivating the NTPF within the first 100 days of this Government. The NTPF's target for this Initiative is that by the end of the year, no patient will be waiting over 12 months for an endoscopy procedure.

"The Programme for a Partnership Government commits to a continued investment of €50m per year to reduce waiting lists, at least €15m of which will go to the NTPF in 2017 to address those waiting the longest. I am determined to deliver on this commitment and am impatient to see major improvements for patients. I want people to have every opportunity for a better quality of life. It is a priority for me and I intend using this era of reinvestment in health to help those in most need.

"My Department has commenced engagement with the NTPF and the HSE to deliver on these waiting list commitments in the Programme for a Partnership Government."

The NTPF will now work with public hospitals to ensure that they validate their waiting lists, the Minister added.

"The RCSI Hospital Group is also undertaking an insourcing endoscopy initiative within its group of hospitals. Under this initiative, some patients on the endoscopy waiting list at Beaumont Hospital will have the opportunity to have their procedure carried out at other hospitals in the Group, such as Connolly or Cavan General Hospital. Beaumont Hospital will also participate in the NTPF Endoscopy Initiative to support it in ensuring that it also reaches the target by the end of 2016.

"Over the coming months, my Department will engage on a regular basis with the NTPF and HSE to monitor progress on this Initiative."


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