Ireland backs waits pledge with private treatment:
This article was originally published in Clinica
Ireland has begun to treat the first long-wait patients under the National Treatment Purchase Fund. The initiative, announced in November 2001, enables the public health service to acquire private sector services in priority surgery areas, with the aim of reducing the longest waiting times. The government has pledged to ensure that by the end of 2002, adult and child patients will not wait longer than 12 and six months, respectively for treatment. By 2003, these targets will be reduced to six and three months; and by 2004, no patient will wait for more than three months for treatment. The government has pledged to spend an extra E73.8m ($73.8m) in 2002 to increase diagnostics and surgery activity (see Clinica No 1014, p 10).