Government approves three Elective hospitals


The Government has approved the provision of three dedicated standalone Elective Hospitals in Cork, Galway and Dublin.

These elective hospitals are to provide coverage for 60-70% of the overall population, catering for up to 940,000 procedures annually. 

Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly said they are part of Sláintecare’s National Elective Ambulatory Care Strategy, “which will change the way in which day case, scheduled procedures, surgeries, scans and outpatient services can be better arranged to ensure greater capacity in the future and help to address waiting lists.”

He said the Elective Hospitals would provide additional capacity and help address waiting lists, while being as flexible and adaptable as possible to facilitate a future phase, which would include some elective in-patient treatment.

Day procedures offered in the first phase would include Gastrointestinal, Gynaecology, Ophthalmology and Orthopaedics.

The proposed service model for elective services would be, initially, high volume, low complexity procedures, and a range of related diagnostic services. The range of specialties would account for approximately:

  • 63% of all Day Procedures (excluding those relating to cancer and dialysis),  
  • 84% of all Day Case surgery waiters and  
  • 60% of all Outpatient waiters.  

The Department of Health said the procedures within scope and to be provided in each area would be subject to additional refinement following further local engagement with clinicians and hospital groups.
The provision of three Elective hospitals would cater for up to 940,000 procedures annually:  

  • approx. 215,000 Day Case surgery & Minor Operation procedures,  
  • approx. 115,000 Endoscopy procedures,  
  • over 400,000 outpatient diagnostics and treatments, and  
  • almost 200,000 outpatient consultations  

The Department said the development, construction, and operation of Elective Hospitals would be progressed in line with Public Spending Code requirements.

Preliminary Business Cases for each Elective hospitals were at an advanced stage of development and were expected to be submitted to the Department of Health in early 2022.
If technically compliant with the Spending Code requirements and approved, the preliminary business cases would be further reviewed by the Department of Expenditure and Reform.
“Subject to all Public Spending Code requirements at Gate 1 being met, further Memoranda for Government seeking approval-in-principle to proceed to the next stage of the Spending Code could be brought forward in the near future.”