Patient waiting lists fall in 2023, but miss overall target

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In 2023, there was an 11 per cent reduction in patients waiting longer than 10/12 weeks for a hospital procedure, but the overall waiting lists fell by just three per cent, which is below the ten per cent target set by the Government. Department of Health figures revealed a 32 per cent reduction in patients waiting longer than 12 months, with 54,000 patients affected. More than 177,000 patients were removed from acute hospital waiting lists, and the average outpatient waiting time fell from 9.7 months to 7.5 months, a 23 per cent reduction. Despite approximately 126,900 more patients being added to waiting lists than projected, the overall waiting list reduction was achieved in 2023. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly credited the Waiting List Action Plan for preventing a significant increase in waiting list numbers.

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