Urology Outpatient lists continue worrying upward trend – Calleary

– Govt failing to tackle increasing waiting lists –

Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary has highlighted a worrying increase in the number of people waiting for urology appointments in hospitals across the country.

There were almost 30,000 people on the outpatient waiting list at the end of August, with over 10,500 patients waiting more than a year to see a doctor.  New figures released to Deputy Calleary reveal that Tallaght Hospital, Galway University Hospital and University Hospital Waterford have the longest waiting lists for this particular speciality.

Deputy Calleary explained, “While some progress has been made with inpatient procedures, as a result of the additional funding secured by Fianna Fáil for the National Treatment Purchase Fund, the outpatient scenario is extremely worrying.  In the last year alone we’ve seen an increase of more than 1,700 patients waiting for an appointment, and over a three year period the list has risen by 40%.  The fact that over a third of all people on the list are waiting for more than a year is a clear indictment that Fine Gael is failing to get to grips with the escalating crisis.

“Progress is health has been extremely sluggish and Minister Harris’s hands-off approach is simply not working.  Last October we were told that the Minister had secured the biggest ever budget for health but once again we are facing a huge overspend and outpatient waiting lists are continuing to rise across all specialities.

“I am very concerned by the large number of people waiting to be seen by a urologist.  Like all areas of health early diagnosis and treatment is extremely important.  There are over 10,500 people waiting more than a year for an outpatient appointment, and over 3,600 waiting for more than two years – these long waiting times could have serious implications for their outcomes.

“We need to see an urgent improvement in these waiting times and others and this can only happen through investment in capacity.  The Minister assures us the budget is there but we need to ensure that it is being spent improving the delivery of these services.  We need to see action”.


For Written Answer on : 25/09/2018
Question Number(s): 267 Question Reference(s): 38329/18
Department: Health
Asked by: Dara Calleary T.D.
To ask the Minister for Health the number of persons awaiting an initial urology consultation by county; the waiting times for same by county; if he will engage with the NTPF to address waiting times; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Improving waiting times for hospital procedures is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and in 2018 €50 million was allocated to the NTPF to provide treatment for patients.
The Inpatient/Day Case Action Plan 2018 which was published in April outlines the combined impact of HSE and NTPF activity in 2018 to reduce the number of patients waiting for treatment. NTPF authorisations are made in respect of the longest waiting patients first.
Key to the delivery of the Action Plan is the ongoing collaboration between the NTPF and the HSE and individual hospitals to identify solutions for long waiting patients. The NTPF will provide funding to the solutions proposed if appropriate. To date this year, the NTPF have approved eight Urology submissions which has resulted in the treatment of over 1,400 patients.
Overall, the Inpatient/Daycase waiting list for Urology has reduced by over 1,100 patients since August 2017 with improvements across the 6-24month timebands.
Nationally, the Outpatient Waiting List remains a significant challenge to be addressed in 2018. The Outpatient Waiting List for Urology has seen an increase of over 1,700 patients since August 2017.
My Department, in consultation with the HSE and the NTPF, is in the process of finalising an Outpatient Action Plan for the remainder of 2018 which I hope to publish soon. The Plan will include the trialling of a number of NTPF funded interventions, including weekend and out of hours clinics.