Wednesday, 22 March 1972
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. E. Collins: asked the Minister for Health if it is intended to retain minor operating facilities at the District Hospital, Dungarvan, County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Health (Mr. Childers): I would refer the Deputy to my reply to a similar question which he asked on 19th May, 1971, and which sets out the position at that time. Since then the South-Eastern Health Board, in order to meet the most pressing problems of the area, have transferred surgery to Ardkeen Hospital and, as a temporary measure, have established a four-bed maternity unit in the District Hospital, which was opened on 20th September, 1971.
Mr. E. Collins: Does the Minister not agree that it is important that minor operating services should be available in rural districts such as Dungarvan, which serves quite a large area, and that it would be a wrong policy to take all such services out of the district hospitals and move them in towards the centre?
Mr. Childers: I have accepted, as my predecessor did, the implications of the FitzGerald Report on the retention of minor surgery in hospitals. In this case the health board have agreed with the terms of the FitzGerald Report. The question of what surgical facilities should be retained is a matter for long-term research. I have given the House full particulars of how this is to be done.
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