Thursday, 8 February 1996
Dáil Éireann Debate
46. Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Health his assessment of the level of adequacy of acute geriatric services throughout the country; the counties without any such service at present; and the plans, if any, he has to remedy current deficits. [2611/96]
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan,: Limerick East): The report of the working party on Services for the Elderly, the Years Ahead — A Policy for the Elderly which was published in 1988, recommended the development of additional departments of medicine of old age in general hospitals throughout the country. This recommendation has been progressively implemented and the number of specialist departments of medicine of old age has increased from eight in 1988 to over 20 this year.
It is the policy of my Department to continue to increase the number of departments of medicine of old age so that every general hospital either has such a department or has access to one. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that this progress is continuing in 1996 with such services about to be put in place in Tralee, Wexford, south Tipperary, Cavan-Monahgan and Meath-Louth. I am confident that, before the end of 1997, every county will have this specialist service.
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