Roscommon Hospital fined €75,000 over waiting list figures

Over 3,000 people on waiting list at Roscommon Hospital

Roscommon Hospital has been fined over €75,000 for having too many patients waiting over 18 months for treatment.

  The Health Service Executive has written to hospital group chief executives who have failed to maintain compliance with the 18-month waiting list target since last June, notifying them of financial penalties to be applied.

  This was following a direction from Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who is eager to have long waiting lists eradicated.

  Roscommon Hospital received a fine of €75,371: €70,293 over its outpatient list, and €5,077 over its inpatient/day case list.

  The fines were levied on the basis of data at the end of August. At that point, the hospital had 109 people on its outpatient list for over 18 months, and nine on its inpatient case list over the same timeframe.

  The HSE have defended the introduction of these fines.

  A spokesperson said: “This measure is part of a focused programme of work being undertaken by the HSE to ensure that all necessary actions are being taken to drive improved performance in hospitals and ensure achievement of the maximum permissible waiting lists for scheduled care.”

  However, the overall waiting lists at Roscommon Hospital actually rose in September, with a total of 3,132 people now awaiting treatment.

  The latest monthly figures from the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) show that the majority of these – 2,215 – are on the outpatient waiting list. A total of 149 of these have been waiting for over 18 months: 75 seeking orthopaedic treatment and 74 awaiting otalaryngology (ENT).

  A further 118 had been waiting between 15-18 months; 140 between 12-15 months; 229 between nine-12 months; and 296 between six-nine months.

  Meanwhile, as of September 30, 917 people were on the waiting list for inpatient or daycase treatment, a rise of 130 from the previous month. Of the 917, 118 had been waiting for more than six months. The rise at Roscommon Hospital last month reflected the national trend.

  More than 13,000 patients across the State have been waiting over 18 months for an outpatient appointment, and more than 2,200 patients are waiting that long for inpatient or daycase treatment.