Hospital waiting lists continue to grow from 2012

Inpatient waiting lists grow by over 9,000 in year to September

Waiting lists at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin, more than doubled in the year to September.

Waiting lists at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin, more than doubled in the year to September.

Sat, Nov 23, 2013, 15:45

More than 9,000 more people were on hospital inpatient waiting lists in September than there were a year earlier, figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund show.

A total of 9,282 more people were on waiting lists for medical treatments, surgical treatments, gastroscopies and colonoscopies in September than there were a year earlier, an increase of 19 per cent.

The volume of patients waiting nine months or more for treatments (including gastroscopies and endoscopies) increased 10-fold in the year to September. Just 475 people were waiting over three months in September 2012 compared to the 4,514 people who were on waiting lists in September 2013.

The number of patients who have been on waiting lists for more than a year is seven times the level it was a year earlier. In September 2012, just 134 patients were on waiting lists of 12 months or more; by September 2013 that figure had grown to 936 such patients.

Meanwhile the number of children waiting nine months or more for treatment is four times that recorded in September last year having jumped from 60 to 241 cases.

The overall volume of adults and children awaiting inpatient treatment in September stood at 58,883, down from a high of almost 60,000 patients who were on inpatient waiting lists in July.

Analysis of waiting lists in 41 hospitals nationwide show that three in every five hospitals had at least 50 more patients on waiting lists in September last than they did in the same month in 2012.

In terms of volume, Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and Waterford Regional Hospital saw the largest increase in the number of patients awaiting treatment with 1,508 and 1,456 extra people on waiting lists in September than there were a year earlier.

Waterford is also one of four hospitals where waiting lists have more than doubled in the past year. In St Columcille’s in Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, the number of people awaiting treatments trebled from 60 in September 2012 to 183 a year later.

Two children’s hospitals - Temple Street and Our Lady’s Hospital for Children, Crumlin - saw their waiting lists more than double in the same time period.

The volume of children nationwide who are awaiting treatments excluding gastroscopies and colonoscopies has also grown substantially: 51 per cent more children were awaiting hospital treatments in September 2013 than there were a year previously.

The figures show that the average waiting time for people awaiting inpatient medical or surgical treatment stood at 3.2 months in September compared to 2.8 months a year earlier.

Outpatient waiting lists also increased slightly in the six months to September with 386,384 people on hospital outpatient lists in September compared to 384,632 in March.

Deadlines for national targets which stipulate that no adult patient should wait for more than eight months for inpatient or day-case treatment or for no more than 12 months for outpatient treatments are scheduled to be implemented by the end of this year.