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Reduction in waiting lists welcomed by Health Minister

Dr James Reilly, Minister for Health, said that hospitals have achieved success in reaching a target list for inpatient and day case treatments.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER FOR HEALTH, Dr James Reilly, has welcomed the fact that 70 per cent of hospitals have reached a waiting list target.

It has been announced that hospitals across the country have achieved “considerable success” in reaching the ‘9 month PTL’ target (Primary Targeting List).

The target was set by the Health Minister at the start of this year and required hospitals to ensure that no one is waiting more than nine months for inpatient and day case treatments. According to new statistics published by the Special Delivery Unit, 27 (70 per cent) hospitals fully achieved the target and have no people waiting for more than nine months for such treatment.

Inroads

The figures also show that a total of 12 hospitals have made significant inroads but are left with some work to do. At the start of 2012, 53,513 patients were listed as being on the ‘9 month PTL’, which meant that the non treatment of such patients by the end of September would fall short of the target.

At the start of 2012, a total of 5,119 people were waiting over 9 months for inpatient or day case surgery. At the end of September, a total of 415 persons were waiting over 9 months, which was a drop of 91.1 per cent.

Health Minister Dr James Reilly thanked all those involved and commented:

The development is vital on two fronts. Firstly it is about basic fairness. Secondly it shows that even with reduced budgets and staffing levels, clear, well informed targets assist hospitals to be effective.

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Special Delivery Unit

Meanwhile, the Special Delivery Unit announced that in the first nine months of this year, the number of people on trolleys was reduced by 23.6 per cent or 16,659 persons over the same period last year.

At Minister Reilly’s direction the HSE and the SDU have taken a series of actions to prepare for a reduction of the outpatient waiting list. The number of people waiting is estimated to be approximately 360,000 and Dr Reilly has set as a target that by the end of next year no outpatient will be waiting for treatment for more than 12 months.

Read: “Disgrace”: More than 16,000 waiting 4+ years for outpatient appointment>

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