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NTPF CEO Mr Liam Sloyan informed the Fund’s board at a meeting in July that commissioning procedures had proved slower than anticipated.
“He said that this was due to the fact that commissioning began fully in May and also arose from resource issues relating to recommencing commissioning after more than five years,” according to the minutes of the meeting, released to MI through Freedom of Information.
“He said such issues arise in the NTPF and in public and private hospitals.”
The CEO also advised it was unlikely that issuing 10,000 authorisations would result in 7,000 treatments, as had been projected.
“This is because many more patients do not require treatment than had been projected,” the minutes state.
“The board noted that it is important that all points of contact with the patient can be measured, ie, number of patients validated off and removed from public hospital waiting lists, number of patients in process and number of patients treated. This analysis is to be provided in future board papers.”
The meeting also heard that resources to support the “commissioning agenda” and other projects continue to be a concern.
Mr Sloyan said he understood consideration was being given to back-filling some of the 2018 funding to the latter part of 2017 to ensure momentum was not lost at the end of the year in scheduling procedures.
In December 2016, Minister for Health Simon Harris granted approval to the NTPF for funds of €5 million for an initiative focused on day-case procedures, which account for approximately 70 per cent of the inpatient/day-case waiting list.
The Fund’s treatment commissioning function was restored, after being wound-down by the former Minister for Health Dr James Reilly and it was provided €20 million to work with the HSE to drive-down waiting lists in 2017, and this will increase to €55 million in 2018.
A new NTPF initiative was recently announced to provide diagnostic endoscopy tests for an extra 700 patients who are waiting for scopes, at a cost of €700,000.