Tynwald will be asked to approve an additional £18.3 million to reduce certain hospital waiting lists when it sits in October.

Minister for Health and Social Care, Lawrie Hooper MHK, will ask next month’s sitting to support the spending which would speed up the treatment of almost 3,800 patients waiting for operations.

A government statement detailing the request said the funding would be ring-fenced so it could only be used to reduce waiting lists, sitting separately from Manx Care’s annual budget.

It added: ‘The money would enable Manx Care to continue its partnership with specialist healthcare provider Synaptik.

‘It provides clinicians to work alongside existing teams at Noble’s Hospital to supplement the existing capacity there so that more patients can receive treatment in a shorter space of time with a reduced length of stay in hospital. The additional capacity will be used to reduce the three largest waiting lists with around 760 orthopaedic patients, 930 general surgery patients and 2,090 ophthalmology patients having their operations sooner.’

Manx Care cleared the waiting list for endoscopies earlier this year following additional funding from the government, and has worked with Synaptik to deliver 115 hip and knee operations and 350 cataract removals. This was the start of a programme announced last year to reduce a number of waiting lists, which had grown significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when elective surgery and a number of clinics had to be suspended.

Minister Hooper said: ‘I understand how frustrating and difficult long waiting times can be for both patients and their loved ones and the impact it has on people’s quality of life. That is why the government is determined to reduce healthcare waiting times.

‘Manx Care has made a solid start in its efforts to reduce hospital waits, but it is clear that more support is needed to help achieve this. This funding will clear significant backlogs – made worse by the pandemic – and make future waiting times much more reasonable.’

Teresa Cope, chief executive of Manx Care, commented: ‘Reducing waiting lists continues to be a key focus for Manx Care. This significant investment – if approved – would allow us to continue our work to address the backlog of elective surgery at pace.

‘It would also bring the inpatient and day case waiting lists down to acceptable levels for Manx Care to manage sustainably moving forward.’