Planned (scheduled) care and emergency (unscheduled) care are known as inpatient care. This includes care requiring overnight stay in hospital as well as care provided through day case services.
Patients admitted to hospital for treatment are normally referred through the Emergency Department or by referral from a GP or outpatient services. The type of care and treatment a patient requires will determine the hospital to which they are admitted. Some hospitals are now specialist centres for treatment and care of certain conditions. For example; Cancer treatment is provided in one of the 8 Centres of Excellence as developed under the National Cancer Control Programmes and Beaumont Hospital in Dublin is the national specialist centre for Neurology Services. Each hospital provides details of the treatment areas of speciality and services they provide.
In 2015 over 1.5 million patients were admitted to public hospitals in Ireland for inpatient care. Almost half a million patients were admitted through the Emergency Department. Over 102,000 patients were admitted to hospitals for planned /scheduled care such as orthopaedic procedures such as hip and knee surgery and other surgical and medical procedures.
The HSE National Service Plan 2018 sets targets for compliance with Waiting Times for Inpatient and Outpatient Services.
The National Service Plan has further details and the NTPF monitors compliance with these targets.
The Inpatient/Day Case Waiting List Action Plan
The Inpatient/Day Case Waiting List Action Plan 2017 sets out to reduce the number of patients waiting 15 months or more for Inpatient / Day Case treatment by 75% by the end of October 2017.