Dáil Éireann - Volume 503 - 01 April, 1999
Written Answers. - St. Bricin's Military Hospital.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
78. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Defence the preparatory work carried out to St. Bricin's military hospital to accommodate the pilot scheme of step-down facilities for civilian patients; the costs involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9196/99]
Mr. M. Smith Mr. M. Smith
Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): As I advised the house recently, a number of meetings have taken place between my Department and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, with a view to using St. Bricin's Military Hospital as a step-down medical facility into which certain categories of  civilian patients could be transferred. Agreement in principle was reached on the introduction of a pilot scheme under which up to eight civilian patients would be accommodated in St. Bricin's for periods ranging from seven to ten days. If the pilot scheme is successful it is intended that a long-term arrangement involving up to 20 civilian patients at a time will be put in place.
As the overall responsibility for the health and wellbeing of civilian patients lies with the Department of Health and Children, it is essential that, to discharge its duties and responsibilities, that Department be fully satisfied regarding the arrangements pertaining to the transfer, accommodation and treatment of civilian patients while in St. Bricin's Hospital. The Department of Health and Children has advised the Mater Hospital of its requirements in this regard, and it is understood the matter is currently being pursued by the Mater Hospital authorities. A number of legal and insurance issues must also be resolved before the pilot scheme commences.
During a site visit to St. Bricin's Hospital by a Mater Hospital delegation in May 1998, the need for an oxygen point to be installed beside each bed was identified. Oxygen lines were subsequently installed, at a cost of £8,437.50. This is the sole cost to have been incurred specifically because of the Mater Hospital project.
I remain committed to the successful implementation of the pilot scheme and the matter will be progressed as quickly as possible.
Dáil Éireann 503 Written Answers. St. Bricin's Military Hospital.