Dáil Éireann - Volume 522 - 28 June, 2000
Written Answers. - Hospital Services.
Mr. McCormack Mr. McCormack
140. Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Health and Children if his Department has any plans for the provision of a neurosurgery unit at University College Hospital Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [ 18603/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): As the Deputy will be aware, in April of 1998, my predecessor announced a major phase 2 capital development for University College Hospital Galway which will enable the development of the hospital as a major regional centre providing the range of specialities associated with a university teaching hospital. I understand from the Western Health Board that the tender for this contract was signed on Friday last and work will commence in the near future. The phase 2 development at the hospital will provide for cardiac surgery and radiotherapy facilities, trauma orthopaedic beds, a burns unit, additional ICU beds, an MRI unit, a new medical social work department and a new concourse to include administration, admissions and medical social work.
The Deputy will be aware that a second consultant neurologist was approved by my Department in January of this year.
The establishment of neurosurgery facilities at the hospital is not envisaged at this time.
Mr. D. Carey Mr. D. Carey
141. Mr. D. Carey asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the general disquiet which currently exists in the Ennis area regarding the proposals to re-organise Ennis General Hospital, County Clare, particularly the movement of the facilities for catering to the unit at St. Joseph's Hospital, Ennis, County Clare; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that this was expressed in a resolution passed by Ennis Urban District Council in view of the fact the mortality rate is above the national average in County Clare (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18604/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): The provision of services to patients in Ennis General Hospital, including catering services, is the responsibility of the MidWestern Health Board. My Department has asked the chief executive officer of the board to reply to the Deputy directly in relation to this matter.
Ennis General Hospital plays a vital role in the delivery of acute hospital services to the people of County Clare. I am committed to the future development of the hospital and in April of this year I approved the establishment of a project team to prepare detailed briefs for identified priority developments at the hospital. This is the essential first step in the planning process to improve the infrastructure at the hospital to meet the needs of the 21st century.
I note that when Ennis Urban District Council raised the question of the mortality rate for County Clare it did not cast any reflection on the county's hospitals. I think that while well developed health services are important it is of even greater significance to focus on the associated social and economic factors such as poverty, nutrition and smoking, all of which contribute to poorer health status and consequently higher mortality rates generally. In the context of public health policy generally it is a matter for the Mid-Western Health Board to address in an integrated way having regard to local needs and circumstances.
Dáil Éireann 522 Written Answers. Hospital Services.