Dáil Éireann - Volume 284 - 23 July, 1975

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Health Boards Capital Projects.

19. Mr. Leonard asked the Minister for Health when he expects to have money made available to the health boards for capital projects which were deferred due to shortage of funds.

Mr. Corish: The progress and content of the hospital building programme for this year and the expenditure thereon is being kept under continuous review by my Department and allocations towards additional projects will be considered in the light of events.

My Department is at present drawing up the 1976 capital building programme with special reference to priority needs. Health boards are being consulted about this programme, which will not be finalised until the capital allocations for 1976 have been made by the Government.

Mr. Leonard: Is the Minister aware that in some health boards there are projects listed, such as fire protection and rewiring of hospitals, as capital projects? Further, is the Minister aware there are no funds now available for such projects which need to be attended to as a matter of urgency? In specific cases would not the Minister provide some funds for things such as fire protection in hospitals?

Mr. Corish: As I explained to the Deputy, unfortunately the funds at my disposal are all committed for [244] 1975. The proposal to which the Deputy refers would have to be deferred until the allocation of capital moneys for the year 1976.

Mr. Haughey: The Government are broke.

Mr. Leonard: Is the Minister more hopeful?

Mr. Corish: I have been in the House for quite a long time when Fianna Fáil were over here——

Mr. Haughey: We never ran out of money with which to provide fire fighting equipment anyway.

Mr. Cluskey: They ran out of ideas.

An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 20.

Mr. Leonard: Is the Minister any more hopeful vis-á-vis the provision of funds for 1976 than for the year 1975?

Mr. Corish: I could not be more specific at this stage.

An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 20.

Mr. Wilson: Does the Minister remember having said he would make an announcement about a regional hospital for the Cavan area in the month of January; it is now the month of July——

An Ceann Comhairle: That is a separate matter.

Mr. Wilson: It deals with the capital programme——

An Ceann Comhairle: It is deserving of a separate question.

Mr. Wilson: The wording of the question is:

to have money made available to the health boards for capital projects....

An Ceann Comhairle: I appreciate that, but surely a hospital is worthy of a separate question?

Mr. Wilson: It is still a capital project.

[245] Mr. Leonard: The hospital to which Deputy Wilson referred constitutes one of the capital projects listed by the North Eastern Health Board as——

Mr. Wilson: But the Ceann Comhairle does not agree.

Mr. Leonard: Well it is one of them, as were the wiring of the hospital and the fire protection matters to which I referred. They are all listed under projects for the North Eastern Health Board, including the one to which Deputy Wilson has referred.

An Ceann Comhairle: Question No. 20.

Mr. Haughey: We are back to the bag of cement situation all over again.

Mr. Corish: I am surprised at the Deputy, as an ex-Minister for Finance. I thought he would have been as responsible as his leader, Deputy Lynch.

Mr. Haughey: It is my duty to point out that the Government have made a total and complete mess of the country's finances and that they are completely bankrupt.

Mr. MacSharry: And they love it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Let us proceed to the next question, which has been called.