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Outpatient waiting lists have dropped 95% in the last year

The Minister for Health tonight defended the HSE service plan, saying that waiting times are dropping.

Image: hxdbzxy via Shutterstock

THOSE WAITING FOR outpatient appointments in public hospitals have seen their wait  drop dramatically over the last year.

The Minister for Health James Reilly revealed the figures this evening during a Fianna Fáil Private Members Bill on the 2014 HSE service plan.

The figures for the end of 2013 show the number of people waiting over 12 months for an outpatient appointment reducing to 4,626 in December, compared to 103,433 in March 2013.

In addition, in overall terms there has been a reduction of 25 per cent in the total number of patients waiting for an outpatient appointment, with over 100,000 additional outpatient appointments provided in 2013 versus 2012 (a 4 per cent increase).

Speaking in the Dáil, Reilly said:

“The reduction by 95 per cent in the numbers on the list over 12 months represents real progress in our health system.

“I congratulate all those involved, the Special Delivery Unit, the National Treatment Purchase Fund and in particular those on the front lines in our hospitals around the country for working so hard to ensure that the longest waiters have been so thoroughly prioritised.”

Reilly acknowledged that the targets have not been fully achieved in 2013.

“A huge amount of work remains to be done on this issue but I congratulate all those involved and I know plans have been made by the SDU working with the HSE to move from the high 90s to 100 per cent achievement against all the targets set.”

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