Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
123. Deputy Noel J. Coonan asked the Minister for Health and Children her plans for the reconfiguration of hospital services in a hospital (details supplied) in County Tipperary taking into consideration the lack of funding for the project; if the extra paramedics, ambulances, hospital staff and other necessary infrastructure are in place for the proposed changeover of facilities; if not, when they will be put in place; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12612/09]
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): The HSE reconfiguration plans for the HSE Mid West region are informed by the recently published Teamwork Report. The Report highlighted the need for changes to be made in the provision and organisation of acute hospital services across the region as it found services are too fragmented, carry increased risks for patients and staff and are not sustainable in their present form. The HSE has been engaged in a consultation process with key stakeholders as it formulates detailed plans in relation to emergency care, critical care and surgical services in the region.
The HSE has identified the enhancement of emergency ambulance services as an essential element of the new service delivery arrangements for the Mid West. Protocols are already in place to ensure that all trauma cases will be brought directly to the major tertiary centre rather than the local hospital. Appropriate protocols in relation to paediatric and obstetric emergencies have been developed and agreed. Plans are under way to introduce a 24-hour Advanced Paramedic service in Clare and North Tipperary and to enhance the level of ambulance cover in these areas.
I am satisfied that the measures being taken by the HSE are necessary and appropriate in order to ensure the provision of safe and effective health services to the people of the Mid West region. My Department has asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy in relation to the detailed operational issues raised.
124. Deputy Noel J. Coonan asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason a CT scanner in a hospital (details supplied) in County Tipperary is not operating; when she plans to have the machine operating; the length of time the scanner has been lying idle; the cost of same to the Health Service Executive or hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12613/09]
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