Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 29 September, 1999

Written Answers. - Health Centres.

498. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Health and Children when work will commence on the new health centre at Cootehill, County Cavan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17897/99]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): The provision of health centres in the Cootehill area is the statutory responsibility of the North-Eastern Health Board. Financial support, from my Department for such projects, is given on the basis of the available resources the competing demands on those resources and the priority the relevant health board attaches to the project in question.

In 1998 I made £65,000 available to the North-Eastern Health Board for the health centre at Cootehill which was used to purchase a suitable site for the new health centre. The board has also prepared a brief, employed an architect, completed tender documents, advertised for tenders and has prepared a short-list of contractors for the project. The board is now in a position to proceed with project once funding has been secured. I recently made a total of £424,000 available to the North-Eastern Health Board for the top two priorities on its health centre development plan. Unfortunately, Cootehill was not high enough on the priority list to be considered this year. The Cootehill project is next on the board's priority list and providing that the board's priorities do not change in the meantime, the provision of financial support will be considered next year in light of available funding.