Dáil Éireann - Volume 605 - 29 June, 2005
Written Answers - Hospital Services.
Dr. Cowley Dr. Cowley
170. Dr. Cowley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her views on whether the Hanly report is unacceptable when it means that Mayo General Hospital will be deprived of essential consultant inpatient services and, as a result, large waiting lists exist for these specialists with persons having to wait years for essential specialist services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23489/05]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Ms Harney: The report of the national task force on medical staffing, the Hanly report, makes important proposals for reducing the working hours of non-consultant hospital doctors, NCHDs, in line with the European working time directive and highlights the need to implement changes in medical staffing to ensure safety and quality of patient care. The Hanly report makes no reference to Mayo General Hospital. Instead, it made specific recommendations for reorganising hospitals in two regions — the east coast and the mid-west — and set out a series of principles for the future organisation of hospital services nationally.
It should be noted that the report recommended investment in hospitals at regional level  to provide more services for patients and emphasised that a full range of acute hospital services should be available within each region, so that patients should not have to travel outside the region other than for specialised supra-regional or national level services. The report also recommended a significant increase in the total number of consultants in each region, working in a consultant provided, team based system, so that patients can receive faster access to senior clinical decision making. This will help to reduce waiting lists.
I consider that the national hospitals’ office is best placed to build on the recommendations of the report in this area. Its priority will be to ensure that patients, wherever they live, have equitable and rapid access to high quality hospital care.
Dáil Éireann 605 Written Answers Hospital Services.