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IMT poll: split on NTPF cash

20 Oct 2016

Pic: Getty Images

IMT readers are spilt, fairly evenly, on whether private hospitals should be paid via the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) to cut public hospital waiting lists.

In all, 46 per cent of those polled voted ‘Yes’ to the proposition. There was a total of 294 online votes and 53 per cent of voters voted ‘No’ — supporting the view that public hospitals should be resourced to do the work. The remainder indicated ‘don’t know’.

A total of €20 million was allocated to the NTPF in Budget 2017, with a further €50 million planned for Budget 2018.

As has been the case with previous initiatives, hospital groups have been requested to identify in-house capacity in the first instance, with activity outsourced only where there was insufficient capacity and/or consultant availability in the public system. The objective is to ensure that patients are treated in a timely fashion.

The Government has urged a particular focus on those waiting longest. The Department of Health (DOH) is currently engaging with the NTPF and the HSE to finalise a dedicated 2016 waiting list initiative focused on endoscopy. The DOH is also engaging with the NTPF and the HSE to develop plans for the effective use of the 2017 cash.

William Bourke

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times