Written Answers - Hip Replacement Operations.

Thursday, 14 April 1994

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 441 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 123 Next Page Last Page

[675]

  20.  Mr. Cullen  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   asked the Minister for Health  Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin   the number of hip replacement operations carried out at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, on behalf of the Southern Health Board; the total cost of these operations excluding transport; the contracted price; the cost of airlifting the patients to Belfast; the anticipated average unit cost; his views on whether these hip operations could have been carried out more cheaply, or as cheaply, in the Republic of Ireland; and if tenders from hospitals in the Republic were sought or received.

  28.  Mr. Cox  Information on Pat Cox  Zoom on Pat Cox   asked the Minister for Health  Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin   the number of hip replacement operations carried out at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast on behalf of the Southern Health Board; the total cost of these operations excluding transport; the contracted price; the cost of airlifting the patients to Belfast; the anticipated average unit cost; his views on whether these hip operations could have been carried out more cheaply, or as cheaply, in the Republic of Ireland; and if tenders from hospitals in the Republic were sought or received.

Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin  Zoom on Brendan Howlin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 20 and 28 together.

To date, a total of 108 hip replacement operations have been carried out at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast on behalf of the Southern Health Board. The total cost of these operations, excluding transport, was IR£280,300 which is within the contracted price. The average cost per patient was £2,595. However, the contract was structured on a sliding scale related to the volume of cases to be carried out. This was to ensure that the board did not have a liability for the full contracted price of £500,650 for 300 operations in the event of fewer patients availing of the services. The total cost of airlifting the 108 patients to Belfast was £56,700.

A total of nine hospitals providing orthopaedic services in the Republic [676] were approached by the Southern Health Board with a view to carrying out the work. A price of £4,600 per procedure plus transport costs was quoted by one hospital but this was subsequently withdrawn. Accordingly, I am satisfied that the price contracted with the Royal Victoria Hospital was competitive. None of the other hospitals contacted by the board was in a position to take on the additional workload at the time.

I have been assured by the Southern Health Board that the balance of the procedures will be carried out during 1994 within their existing resources. The board is confident that these procedures will be carried out locally due to the availability of improved theatre facilities in St. Mary's, Gurranebraher for which I have provided the necessary capital resources. The health board is also seeking to fill two locum orthopaedic surgeon posts to manage the additional workload.


Last Updated: 22/05/2011 01:32:42 First Page Previous Page Page of 123 Next Page Last Page