Inpatient or day-case waiting list up 32% in year
Some 65,000 people awaiting treatment at hospitals across country, says NTPF
Almost 39 per cent of the total number of patients on the lists at 41 hospitals (25,098) have been waiting for more than six months for treatment, and nearly 12 per cent (7,559) have been waiting for more than 12 months. Photograph: Thinkstock
The number of people waiting for inpatient and day-case treatment in hospitals across the country surged by 32 per cent to almost 65,000 in the year to the end of February.
Figures published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on Monday revealed that the number of patients waiting for treatment on some hospital lists has increased by as much as 75 per cent, with increases of 20 to 40 per cent not uncommon.
More than 1,900 patients have now been on waiting lists for more than 12 months at hospitals that had no patients waiting for more than that length of time in February of last year.
Almost 39 per cent of the total number of patients on the lists at 41 hospitals (25,098) have been waiting for more than six months for treatment, and nearly 12 per cent (7,559) have been waiting for more than 12 months.
In addition, some 2,252 children are now awaiting inpatient or day-care treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin – an increase of 75 per cent in the year – with a further 532 children on the list for treatment at Temple Street.
Beaumont Hospital’s total waiting list rose by almost 23 per cent, from 4,983 in February 2014 to 6,120 in February this year. One in five of those patients is now waiting longer than 12 months for treatment, with the figure rising to 1,227 from just 183 in February 2014.
At Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, the waiting list increased by 58 per cent, from 1,788 to 2,827.
Hospital waiting times
Also in Dublin, St James’s Hospital saw a rise of 32 per cent in the number of people on its waiting lists, from 3,627 to 4,788.
There was an increase of 36 per cent in the numbers waiting for treatment at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin, with 1,999 patients waiting compared to 1,467 last year.
At St Vincent’s hospital in Dublin 4, the numbers on the waiting list were up by 53.7 per cent to 2,079.
Tallaght hospital also saw an increase, with some 3,274 people waiting for treatment, a rise of 34.7 per cent.
University Hospital Waterford saw a significant rise in the number of patients waiting for treatment – up by almost 72 per cent, from 2,241 to 3,848.
In Limerick, St John’s Hospital’s waiting list was up by 52.8 per cent to 906 patients.
Figures published by the Health Service Executive (HSE) last month had already signalled an upward trend in the number of patients on waiting lists. They showed that the numbers waiting for an outpatient appointment are now close to 400,000.
At the end of December, there were 385,781 people on the outpatient waiting list.
When it published its own figures, the HSE said increased focus in the area of outpatient treatment would “have a concomitant impact on inpatient and day-case treatment requirements (and waiting lists)”.
In January, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar published 25 priorities for the health service this year, including a promise that no patient would be waiting more than 15 months for hospital treatment by the end of 2015.As an interim target, no patient would be on a hospital waiting list for more than 18 months by the summer, he said.
The NTPF has been responsible for the collection, collation and publication of inpatient and day-case waiting lists since 2005. It does this through the Patient Treatment Register.