National Treatment Purchase Fund

National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF)

What is the National Treatment Purchase Fund?

The NTPF is an initiative established by the Government to treat people who have been waiting the longest for treatment in the country's public hospitals. Treatment may be arranged in private hospitals in Ireland and Britain, or if necessary, in other countries.

Hospital waiting lists have been the subject of much controversy in recent years, with around 25,000-29,000 people waiting at any one time for treatment.

The fund is focusing on both adults and children who have been waiting for treatment for at least three months.

How does it work?

If you are considered eligible, you will be contacted by the hospital or health board where you are on a waiting list and asked if you are interested in being treated under the initiative. Contact will be made by telephone, post or at an outpatient clinic. You can also contact the National Treatment Purchase Fund at Lo-Call 1890 720 820 or at 16 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1.

The hospital or health board will ask for your permission to arrange treatment for you under the fund and to transfer your records to the doctor/hospital where you will be treated.

The NTPF will then arrange treatment for you. In most cases, this will be in a private hospital. The hospital may be in a nearby location, however if you accept an offer of treatment outside Ireland, travel arrangements will be made for you.

The NTPF liaison officer for your hospital or health board will inform you where your proposed treatment will take place and who your treating consultant will be. The liaison officer will also be available to discuss any concerns you may have.

Once you have accepted an offer of treatment, you will be contacted by the liaison officer in the hospital where you will receive treatment. He/she will give you the exact date for your operation and will advise you of any preparations that you need to make before you are admitted to hospital.

How much will this cost me?

Nothing. Patients who opt for treatment under the NTPF will receive their operation or procedure free of charge.

If I am offered treatment under the NTPF, do I have to accept it?

No, it is entirely your choice to participate in this initiative. If you do not wish to avail of it, you will remain on the waiting list for treatment that you were originally on.

For those who do choose to accept, treatment will only happen once you are fully advised of the details and with your full agreement.

If you have decided not to participate and later change your mind, contact the NTPF liaison officer in your hospital or health board.

Will I have the same doctor as I have now?

Possibly, as consultants from many specialities are taking part in this initiative, therefore you may be treated by your current consultant in a private hospital.

However you may also be treated by a different consultant in a private hospital in Ireland, Britain or further abroad.

If I choose to have treatment abroad, can I bring somebody with me?

Yes. If the treatment you are offered is in Britain or further abroad, the NTPF will pay for a parent/guardian or companion to travel with you and will look after any necessary accommodation costs.

Your NTPF liaison officer will discuss any travel requirements with you.

What can I expect when travelling abroad for treatment?

If you are required to travel abroad for treatment, the NTPF will make all necessary arrangements, including transport to and from the airport.

You will be met at the airport in Britain (or other country) and brought to the hospital where your treatment is arranged. Return transport will be similarly arranged.

The NTPF reminds patients, as always when travelling outside Ireland, it is advisable to bring identification, such as your passport with you.

What happens after my operation?

When you are ready to leave hospital, the NTPF liaison officer will contact your local health board and update them on your treatment. They will also ensure that any follow-up care arrangements are put in place for you.

In most cases, you will be discharged home to the care of your GP. The hospital will give you a letter to give to your GP.

If it is necessary for you to have a follow-up outpatient appointment with the consultant who treated you, this appointment will be made for you or you will be given the information to make it.

If you require medication, you will be given a supply of the particular medication prescribed to you while you were in hospital. Any further supplies or prescriptions can then be obtained in the normal way from your GP

If you have any questions at any stage, contact the liaison officer in your local health board or hospital.

What if I experience a problem after my operation?

If the problem is urgent, go to your local A&E department. Otherwise contact your GP, who will refer you back to the consultant who treated you if necessary or contact the NTPF liaison officer in your hospital or health board.

How confidential will my treatment be?

Treatment under the NTPF is completely confidential. The only people who will see your clinical file will be your transferring consultant, the liaison officers and the consultant and nursing staff in the treating hospital.

See the NTPF website at


liam(mail4liam) - 24/04/2004 00:42

how is it that we need this ntpf. we live on a tiny island. with 4 million people , and we cant cope with ourselves , that is sick, in the medical point . yet we are sending our own to england. which has 65 million people, what is wrong with our approach to health, its not the working poeple becaust we are taxed and screwed to the hilt.all our serving politions should be treminated in the next election .

Anonymous - 20/08/2004 08:19

oh for god sake, there is always someone who is complaining. if you weren't complaining about this it would be something else. its better to give sick patients, who may be suffering immensely while waiting to be seen, the opportunity to be treated whether its in their own hospital or one in england or further afield. look at the budgetary differences for england and ireland Liam. but i suppose if people were dying as a result of long waiting lists you would be complaining about the government then too. we all know that the health system is "questionable" but at least something has been done to alleviate the long waiting lists. maybe you should check out the waiting list section on, that might soften your cough

Anonymous - 20/08/2004 11:25

I agree, atleast people are being treated. Tho' the health serive here is gone far beyond questionable. I wonder tho', because the NTPF alleviates the worst of the queue, does the govt. feel thatit soem how allevaitres them from having to take any real action to solve the health crisis in the long term.

Anonymous - 20/08/2004 18:50

It is only right that those waiting for a long time to get treatment should get it as soon as possible. My question is - Hospitals in Ireland, like Mallow and Monaghan, are lying part empty, with staff on duty and the expertise to carry out some of the procedures, which are being purchased abroad. It would be much cheaper to get the work done in Ireland. It is not good economics to send them abroad while facilities are not being used at home.

cinque - 06/10/2004 22:48

I've just recently had surgery carried out through N.T.P.F. For a year I waited to have this surgery done in a public hospital. All public hospitals have a 20% quota of beds set aside for privately insured patients most if not all hospitals exceed this qouta. I was treated by the same clinic that I was dealing with in the public hospital,only in their private facility. Part of the reason I was unable to be treated in the public ward was because of the amount of private patients occupying the beds there,so I was moved to the private clinic which wins on the double in this two-tier system, it's like letting children loose in a sweet shop. This is just one of the many examples of how the private sector gets a leg-up from public funds.The N.T.P.F. is the brainchild of the P.D.s, we now have a P.D. health minister. A sure sign that this wanton waste of public funds will contiue.

Anonymous - 07/10/2004 09:45

The NTPF while very worthwhile, is a short-term solution to a long term problem

Anonymous - 28/09/2007 16:27

My daughter is waiting for eye surgery at the Eye & Ear. She got a letter from the NTPF and said yes she could go where ever. Where was that? The Eye and Ear, no sooner than her original appointment!!

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