HSE continues to stall on diagnostic waiting lists – Kelleher

Published on: 29 July 2017


Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has hit out at the HSE for its persistent failure to provide up to date figures on the number of people waiting for critical diagnostic scans in hospitals nationwide.

“Every year for the past three years I have sought this information and every year the HSE has avoided providing it.  I have still not received these statistics, despite persistent questioning so we are now in a situation where there is no up-to-date national data available for the numbers waiting for MRI scans, CT scans and bone scans”, explained Deputy Kelleher.

“In summer 2015 I was told that the HSE is “continually working to improve, expand and learn from those Key Performance Indicators on which hospitals report” and that it was planning to begin national collection of standardised and compatible data from 2016.

“The following year, the HSE claimed that it is “continually working to improve and monitor performance” and was“working to establish a system to track waiting lists for a range of diagnostic procedures”. However, it qualified the lack of progress to date by suggesting that “such a system requires significant testing and validation which, in time, will facilitate the production of national data reports … for diagnostic waiting times”.

“This summer, I submitted a Parliamentary Question requesting an update on the situation and have been told that the HSE is “continually working to improve and monitor performance” and was “working to establish a system to track waiting lists for a range of diagnostic procedures”. Remarkably, “such a system requires significant testing and validation which, in time, will facilitate the production of national data reports … for diagnostic waiting times”.

“Delays in providing this information are completely unacceptable at this stage. Back in 2014 I did receive some information about a small number of hospitals and was told that in University Hospital Limerick, the waiting time for new routine referrals for MRI was 30 months.

“It’s simply ludicrous that after all this time the HSE cannot provide this information as a matter of routine. Every month the National Treatment Purchase Fund publishes validated waiting lists for in-patients, day cases and outpatients across an enormous range of specialities. It should be given the responsibility for these waiting lists as well since the HSE has proven to be completely incompetent when it comes to compiling and providing what should be standard information”.

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