2022 waiting list targets is “challenging”

2022 waiting list targets is “challenging”

The Government has admitted that meeting its 2022 waiting list targets is “challenging”.

That’s one word for it. They have tried to partially blame Covid-19.

The admission came during a Budget 2023 briefing by the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly.

To try and get some handle on hospital waiting lists, the Government will spend €440 m next year on the problem.

That’s on top of the €350m allocated this year for it.

But the system is finding it hard to make a real impact.

Health officials say that overall waiting lists have fallen by 17% this year.

They also claim that gastrointestinal check targets have been exceeded and that very long gynaecology waits have been virtually eliminated.

But the inpatient/day case waiting list target is behind by 2,800 patients.

There is a promise to build up bariatric surgery units for obesity surgery in Ireland.

Some good news perhaps. But the overall picture remains very grim.

The huge outpatient waiting list is behind target by a whopping 65,000 patients.

When you consider that the health spend this year will be €22 billion and €23.5 billion next year, there is something badly wrong with the system when it can not treat patients in good time.