Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin West, Jack Chambers has called for the proposed hospital bed capacity review to be expedited after figures he obtained reveal the number of elective procedures performed in hospitals across the country has halved in the four years since 2012.

The figures released by the HSE show that there were 187,000 elective discharges in 2012. However last year, there were only 86,141 elective discharges.

Deputy Chambers tabled the parliamentary question after it was revealed that waiting lists for inpatients and day cases had spiralled to over 83,000 this year.

“These new figures clearly indicate a hemorrhaging in the output and delivery of elective procedures for patients in our hospitals. The fall in the number of elective surgeries undoubtedly stems from the pressures on Emergency Departments.

“In December the Director General of the HSE spoke of the 5% to 6% increase in the presentations to our EDs year-on-year and said that if these trends continue, all work will be emergency work and hospitals will be unable to accommodate elective work. Well these figures which show such a startling fall in elective procedures certainly prove that claim.

“What is required now is that the Minister speed up the proposed hospital bed capacity review. We also need to examine the potential for hospitals without 24/7 Emergency Departments to increase their elective work.

“Also while €15 million has been provided in 2017 to the National Treatment Purchase Fund the sooner we can get this up to the €100 million or so that was provided to in 2010, the better.”