Department of Health statement on latest waiting time statistics published

Date published: 29 August 2019

The Department of Health shares the widespread frustration and concern at NI’s hospital waiting times.

We have been clear that substantial and sustained investment will be required to address the waiting time backlog.

Financial pressures over successive years have created this backlog. With the overall health budget constrained, limited funding has been available from 2014 to suppress waiting time growth.

The NI health budget continues to face significant pressures. At the same time, there are many competing demands for additional spending across different parts of the health and social care system.

As the Department has said many times, it cannot spend money it does not have.

The Department is examining options to facilitate public engagement on budgetary choices. The health service belongs to us all and everyone has a stake in decisions on funding priorities and making the best use of limited resources.

Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office on 028 9052 0074 or email: For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
  2. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
  3. The latest waiting time statistics can be found on the Department of Health website.

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