Dáil Éireann - Volume 446 - 02 November, 1994

Written Answers. - Kilcreene (Kilkenny) Orthopaedic Hospital.

187. Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Health the funding arrangements he has put in place for future years to upgrade and develop the orthopaedic facilities at Our Lady of Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital, Kilcreene, Kilkenny; if he will confiem that his Department has no plans to downgrade or close this particular hospital in view of a decision taken in 1993 by the South Eastern Health Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2674/94]

Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): The organisation of hospital services in a region is, in the first instance, a matter for the health board concerned. In turn, health boards allocate resources to hospitals having regard to the level of services which are provided.

I presume that the decision referred [1571] to by the Deputy concerns the delivery of orthopaedic services in the south-eastern region. The position is that the South-Eastern Health Board decided to centralise orthopaedic trauma at Waterford Regional Hospital and elective orthopaedic work for the south-eastern region at Kilcreene Hospital.

In the case of Kilcreene Orthopaedic Hospital, considerable additional resources have been made available under the waiting list initiatives of 1993 and 1994. These funds will enable the hospital perform an extra 719 orthopaedic operations, including an additional 133 hip replacement operations during this period.

In 1993 a programme of refurbishment commenced with a grant from my Department of £100,000. It is intended that this programme of upgrading will be ongoing for some time and in this regard I have approved a further capital grant of £100,000 in the current year.

There are no plans in my Department to close Kilcreene and I am satisfied that the hospital will continue to discharge a very important role in the delivery of hospital services in the south-eastern region.