Dáil Éireann - Volume 527 - 05 December, 2000
Written Answers. - Hospital Services.
Proinsias De Rossa Proinsias De Rossa
226. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the fact that patients suffering from cancer who are not able to afford private health care are subjected to a distressing and sometimes painful journey across the city to St. Luke's Hospital, Rathgar, Dublin 6 from the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin 7 and back again despite the fact that there is a suitable facility in the Mater Private Hospital which could treat them; if the Mater Misericordiae Hospital could afford to use this facility for its public patients; and if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that this distressing treatment usually lasts for six weeks, five days a week; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28323/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): As the Deputy is aware, with effect from 1 March 2000 the Eastern Regional Health Authority, ERHA, has full responsibility for all health service issues in the eastern region. I have had inquiries made of the Eastern Regional Health  Authority concerning this matter. It has informed me that at present, Mater Hospital public patients are transferred to St. Luke's Hospital for radiotherapy. Public patients who require urgent radiotherapy are referred to the Mater Private Hospital for diagnosis and treatment. The cost of this service is met by the Mater Hospital.
In the interest of delivering an integrated service to public patients, I understand that a proposal is presently being considered by the Mater Hospital, whereby the hospital would purchase radiotherapy services from the Mater Private Hospital, thus eliminating the need to transfer public patients to St. Luke's Hospital.
I have requested the ERHA to keep the Deputy informed of progress in this area.
Dáil Éireann 527 Written Answers. Hospital Services.