Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 18 February, 1997

Written Answers. - Special Surgery Referral.

136. Mr. E. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if he will expedite the case of a person (details supplied) in County Cork who has a tumour at the rear of his eyes and who must be sent to a Liverpool hospital for specialist surgery. [4315/97]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): Health boards may refer patients for treatment outside the state where certain criteria have been met, including urgent medical necessity and non-availability of the treatment within the State. It is a matter for the health board to examine the circumstances of each individual case. The approval of the Department of Health is required only when the anticipated cost of treatment exceeds £10,000.

I have had inquiries made of the hospital authorities regarding this matter and they have confirmed that they have no record of receiving an application for treatment abroad in respect of this patient. The Deputy should advise the patient concerned to contact his consultant, who will be in the best position to assess whether an application [212] to the health board under the treatment abroad scheme is appropriate.