Tuesday, 23 May 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
212. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will clarify the situation with the urology or kidney units in Temple Street and Crumlin Hospitals which are reportedly closing down; his views in this regard; the alternative arrangements being put in place; if his attention has been drawn to the concern of parents on the matter who are told there will be no such unit or facility in the country in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14439/00]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): I wish to assure the Deputy that there are no plans to close down urology or kidney units in Temple Street Hospital and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children.
Approval for the appointment of two additional consultant nephrologists who will have sessional commitments with Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, the Children's hospital and Beaumont hospital was recently issued. I understand that the interview for these posts will be held in the near future.
The urology service at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children and the Children's Hospital is currently provided by a locum consultant surgeon. At present the post is shared by the three Dublin paediatric hospitals, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, the Adelaide & Meath hospital Dublin, incorporating the National Children's Hospital and the Children's Hospital, Temple Street. The hospitals recently submitted an application which envisaged a new structure for the post to Comhairle na nOspidéal. However, it is comhairle's opinion that the structure of the proposed post is contrary to that envisaged in its report on paediatric surgery services which issued in December 1998.
The Deputy will be aware that a Council for Children's Hospital Care has been established and includes representation from the three Dublin paediatric hospitals. The council's primary role is to assist the paediatric hospitals to work with each other and with the Eastern Regional Health Authority to plan and develop acute paediatric services on a co-ordinated basis in the functional area of the authority.
The chair of the Council for Children's Hospital Care and the regional chief executive of the ERHA met last week with senior officials of my Department to review progress on the council's work programme and to identify a number of priorities, including paediatric surgery, which the ERHA and the council will be addressing during this year. My Department and the authority support the council's view that the areas of  specialist paediatric surgery merits immediate attention and that Comhairle na nOspidéal also has an important role to play in this regard.
It was agreed that a further meeting should be arranged between all parties, that is, comhairle, the Council for Children's Hospital Care, the ERHA and my Department to clarify the respective roles and expectations and to agree a defined timeframe for resolving the outstanding issues regarding consultant appointments in paediatric surgery in the best interest of the patients.
|Last Updated: 11/09/2010 03:16:03||Page of 291|