Following today's Inpatient, Outpatient and Diagnostic quarter ending 2015 waiting times report, Health Minister Simon Hamilton said that he was confident that last week's funding announcement will kick start the process of getting the waiting times back to an acceptable position.
He said: “Additional funding of £40million secured last week to go directly towards tackling waiting lists is extremely welcome. It will allow up to 40,000 additional assessments and between 10,000 and 15,000 additional operations and treatments to be progressed, over and above ongoing regular Trust activity. It covers a wide range of specialities including orthopaedics, gastroenterology, neurology and ENT.
"Already, patients are being contacted to attend appointments for hip and knee operations, spinal procedures and urology for example. It is the start of a long journey to get waiting times back to an acceptable position and will need further additional funding to ensure success, but we are beginning to head in the right direction.
“Substantial progress was previously being made on addressing waiting times, which regrettably has all been lost over recent times. The length of time people have had to wait has been unacceptable, but I am fully committed to getting us back to where we were and over time making further improvements."
Notes to editors:
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