Tuesday, 14 December 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
228. Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children when a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 will receive a date for emergency surgery in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26773/99]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): As the determination of in-patient appointments is a matter for the hospital authorities in the first instance, based on clinical assessment of need, I have asked the chief executive officer of Beaumont Hospital to investigate the position regarding this patient. Given the particular circumstances of this case, I have requested that he reply to the Deputy directly, as a matter of urgency.
229. Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children the waiting time for an eye examination in Temple Street hospital, Dublin 1, from a school test referral; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a number of appointments already made have been deferred for another six months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26774/99]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): The ophthalmology service in The Children's Hospital, Temple Street is currently led by two consultant ophthalmologists with appropriate support staff. The hospital has recently submitted an application to my Department to structure a third consultant ophthalmologist post.
Since coming into office, I am acutely aware of the importance of reducing waiting lists and waiting times, particularly for children. To this end my Department has allocated £150,000 in 1999 to Temple Street Hospital under the waiting list initiative for the provision of treatment to children on waiting lists. Patients are chosen for treatment under the waiting list initiative based on clinical priority. The Deputy will also appreciate that the determination of out-patient appointments is entirely a matter for the hospital authorities in the first instance, based on clinical assessment of need and that consequently, urgent cases receive priority.
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