Health | Reducing the waiting lists for various procedures in respect of scoliosis and spina bifida
To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which progress has taken place in recent months in respect of reducing the waiting lists for various procedures in respect of scoliosis and spina bifida with particular reference to availing of every opportunity to reduce these waiting lists and to show results on a weekly basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Reducing waiting times for hospital appointments and procedures remains a commitment of this Government. Earlier this year I approved an ambitious plan for Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) to reduce the number of children waiting for spinal orthopaedic procedures (scoliosis and spina bifida) by year end. Both current and capital funding totalling €17.43 million has been approved for this initiative. The plan will result in an additional 67 spinal fusions and 28 spinal other procedures for children with Scoliosis, as well as an additional 141 procedures for children with Spina Bifida. The plan also allocates substantial paediatric orthopaedic procedures at Cappagh orthopaedic hospital, with 720 additional procedures planned for the year. The impact of the plan has already been recorded with increased activity year to date, with 239 procedures carried out year to date on 1st July, compared with 178 procedures in the same period last year.
This latest initiative is further evidence of this Government’s commitment to address acute hospital waiting lists. The 2022 Waiting List Action Plan allocates €350 million to the HSE and National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to improve waiting times. This is the first stage of an ambitious multi-annual waiting list programme, which is currently under development in the Department of Health.
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