Nearly 110,000 on out-patient waiting list

HSE recorded €12 million deficit in January

The waiting area in the out patients department at Temple Street Children’s Hospital. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The waiting area in the out patients department at Temple Street Children’s Hospital. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Wed, Apr 10, 2013, 14:17

There were nearly 110,000 people waiting longer than 12 months for an initial out-patient appointment with a consultant at the end of January, new official figures released today by the HSE show.

The HSE's first performance report published for this year also reveals that at the end of the January, 1,135 adults were waiting over eight months for an in-patient procedure and 1,938 adults were waiting over eight months for a day case procedure.

The HSE said it was intended that no adults would be waiting greater than eight months for an elective procedure by the end of the year.

The HSE report said that at the end of January, there were 181 children waiting over 20 weeks for in inpatient elective procedures and 145 children waiting over 20 weeks for an elective day case procedure. The HSE said it was intended that no children will be waiting greater than 20 weeks for an elective procedure.

The HSE said that at the end of the January, 594 patients were waiting longer than three months for a gastrointestinal endoscopy. It said it was intended that no one would be waiting more than three months weeks for such a procedure.

The performance report for January also said that the HSE had recorded a €12m deficit in the first month of the year. It said this was composed of a €10.9m

deficit in hospitals and a €5.6m deficit in community services, with some offsetting surpluses in the fair deal nursing home scheme and in relation to

pensions. It said demographic funding due to be allocated to the system would mitigate an element of these deficits.

“A review of initial cost containment plans is in progress to assess their deliverability and completeness in the context of the breakeven requirement. At this stage it should be noted that the necessary indicative profiling of budget reductions to match phased commencement of cost management initiatives is a potential concern and will be addressed as part of this review.

"The vote report at the end of February shows a net vote overspend of €13m when a €9m surplus on capital is offset against a €22m deficit on revenue. Patient receipts are €14m behind profile based upon the payments received from

insurers. This matter is being followed up with the private health insurance companies.”

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