Last week, Health Minister Michelle O’Neill published a document that describes the plan to transform the delivery of elective care services across Northern Ireland.
Elective care is any prearranged, non-emergency care, including planned operations, outpatient appointments and appointments that help diagnosis, such as scans, X-rays or biopsies.
The document, Elective Care Plan: Transformation and Reform of Elective Care Services, contains the plan to transform the delivery of elective care services through a process of modernisation and reform to ensure that sustained action is taken to address the root cause of excessive waiting times.
Current waiting times and performance for all elective services are outlined on page eight of the Elective Care Plan, which you can download at http://bit.ly/2lWZVwh.
It is hoped that implementation of the initiatives in this plan will ensure that, by March 2018, no one should wait more than 52 weeks for a first outpatient appointment and inpatient/day case treatment, and 26 weeks for a diagnostic appointment.
There are a number of actions and commitments in the plan that will help to improve current waiting times. These include exploring the opportunities for primary care to take forward some of the areas for transformation and innovation envisaged in this plan, the improved use of technology and undertaking a review of existing waiting lists.
It is recognised that additional resources will be required if the actions and commitments in this plan are to be realised.
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