Dáil Éireann - Volume 470 - 30 October, 1996

Written Answers. - Galway Hospitals Development.

100. Mr. Molloy asked the Minister for Health the timetable for the programme of developments at University College Hospital, Galway, which includes an additional 50 bed ward accommodation, two additional X-ray rooms with ancillary accommodation and extension to the existing X-ray Department, the opening of three new operating theatres and one day theatre, upgrading of existing theatre suite and provision of a 12 bed recovery room and reception room, extensions and alterations to the accident and emergency department, upgrading of the existing 12 hospital wards, replacement of equipment in the screening room at an estimated cost of £25 million when finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19848/96]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): I confirm that the programme of developments at University College Hospital, Galway, will include all the elements listed in the question. However, the detailed timetable for this capital development has not yet been finalised. Tenders have been received for the main building works involved and I hope to be in a position to issue approval for the works to commence shortly. The development will take about two years to complete.

The commencement of the additional work of upgrading the existing hospital wards will coincide with the start of the main building works. This upgrading work will be phased over a number of years and the precise timescale for the work is now the subject of discussions between the Western Health Board and my Department.

101. Mr. Connor asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the need for adequate toilet facilities at the patients' canteen in St. Bridget's Hospital, Ballinasloe, County Galway; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that the lack of these services is a health hazard to patients and staff using the canteen; and if he has received a report from the Inspector of Mental Hospitals with whom a complaint regarding the problem has been lodged in this regard. [19868/96]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): The Western Health Board is responsible [1512] for the delivery of health services including mental health services in its functional area which includes County Galway and I have obtained a report from the board on the issues raised. The board has advised that the toilet facilities adjacent to the patients' canteen and dining areas in St. Bridget's Hospital are considered adequate for present needs and the question of a health hazard presenting to patients or staff using the canteen or dining area has not arisen at any time. However, the inspector of mental hospitals has been made aware of the Deputy's concerns and will assess the situation on his next visit to the hospital.