Friday 17 January 2020

553,434 patients on hospital waiting lists - rise of 30k on last year

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Over 30,200 more public patients are now waiting to see a specialist than in January last year, according to new figures.

End-of-year hospital waiting list figures released today show 553,434 patients on outpatient lists compared to 523,225 in January 2019.

There are 66,563 waiting for surgery, down from 72,027.

The figures show a rise in the numbers waiting for a gastrointestinal scope , up to 22,244 compared to 19,748 at the beginning of 2019.

The figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) follow €75m allocated to buy private treatments for public patients in 2019.

The Government has allocated €100m to purchase private care for public patients this year.

The waiting lists for surgery are expected to grow again this month due to the number of operations which have had to be cancelled to free up beds due to the trolley crisis.

The NTPF said it has been “ allocated €100m in Budget 2020, an increase of €25m on 2019.

“ The additional funding will be used to benefit patients throughout the country, as the NTPF maintains its strong focus on improving waiting times for inpatient and daycase treatment, while also significantly increasing its focus on outpatients.

“ The NTPF will also be in a position to support public hospital emergency departments, including by funding diagnostic scans,” it added.

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