Dáil Éireann - Volume 423 - 07 October, 1992
Written Answers. - Tullamore (Offaly) Orthopaedic Services.
Mr. Belton Mr. Belton
290. Mr. Belton asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has to upgrade and extend the services at the orthopaedic unit in the General Hospital, Tullamore, County Offaly, as, at the present time, this unit has the highest population to surgeon ratio in the developed world and patients, who are experiencing great pain, are waiting for two to three years for surgery.
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Connell) John F. O'Connell
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Connell): The provision of orthopaedic services in the General Hospital, Tullamore, County Offaly is a matter for the Midland Health Board in the first instance.
There are, at present, two orthopaedic surgeons in the General Hospital, Tullamore providing out-patient clinics in five locations throughout the Midland Health Board area, i.e. Portlaoise, Tullamore, Mullingar, Athlone and Longford. They also provide an in-patient service for the region, serving a population of approximately 203,000 in the 55-bed regional orthopaedic unit in Tullamore.
I am happy to inform the Deputy that my Department has recently approved the appointment of a third orthopaedic surgeon for the General Hospital in Tullamore. This appointment will considerably improve the orthopaedic services in the Midland Health Board area.
My Department has also approved the construction of an additional theatre suite which is essential to accommodate the workload of a third orthopaedic surgeon. The planning of the operating theatre  is currently at the tender stage and it is hoped to commence construction before the end of 1992.
Dáil Éireann 423 Written Answers. Tullamore (Offaly) Orthopaedic Services.