Dáil Éireann - Volume 461 - 13 February, 1996

Written Answers. - Paediatrician for Louth County Hospital.

[970] 88. Mr. D. Ahern asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, there are to increase the availability of a paediatrician to the Louth County Hospital, Dundalk; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3149/96]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): As the Deputy will be aware, in 1995 the Department approved six consultant posts for the Louth-Meath Hospital Group. Among these posts are two new posts of consultant paediatrician and consultant neonatologist. These posts are currently being processed.

These consultant appointments will provide consultant paediatric input into the full range of children's services in County Louth including learning and physical disability and child health and protection. The frequency of paediatric outpatient clinics at Dundalk will be increased to a weekly basis and this service will provide for the examination for all new-born babies at the maternity unit.

The Deputy will be aware that I recently approved a £1 million capital development for the Louth County Hospital. Phase 2 of that development is currently under way and includes the construction of a new outpatients' department. This new department will accommodate all out-patient services, including paediatric clinics.