Dáil Éireann - Volume 481 - 16 October, 1997

Written Answers - Hospital Waiting Lists.

125. Mr. B. Smith asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the widespread concern in relation to delays in having cataract removal procedures carried out; the proposals, if any, he has to eliminate such waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16786/97]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): I am committed to taking all possible steps to reduce waiting times for targeted specialties, including ophthalmology. I am conscious that some patients must wait a lengthy period of time for cataract surgery and I will be pursuing the matter in the context of the current work on waiting lists.

A total of £8 million has been allocated during 1997 under the waiting list initiative for targeted specialties. My Department will shortly be notifying health agencies of the steps to be taken during 1998 to continue addressing waiting lists and waiting times.