Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
372. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will reinstate accident and emergency services, acute medical beds and intensive care unit at Louth County Hospital, Dundalk; if he will meet with a group (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6448/11]
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy James Reilly): In recent years the HSE has been working to reorganise services in the Louth / Meath Hospital Group and Louth County Hospital has continued to play an important and expanding role in the provision of health services in the North East region, with a particular focus on diagnostic and day services. A minor injuries unit and additional ambulance services were put in place to support the plan. Stroke rehabilitation, day surgical, day medical, step down services, gynaecology and radiology services remain in Louth County. In addition, the care of the elderly service has transferred to the hospital from Drogheda. General and orthopaedic rehabilitation services are currently being developed in Dundalk.
A dedicated Venesection service has been established and a new Colposcopy Unit has been opened at the hospital. Louth County Hospital has also been selected by the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS) as one of the 15 candidate screening colonoscopy units to provide the colonoscopy requirements for the colorectal cancer screening programme.
I am committed to ensuring that acute hospital services at national, regional and local level are provided in a clinically appropriate and efficient manner. In particular I want to ensure that as many services as possible can be provided safely in smaller, local hospitals. In order to fully consider the issues involved, I am being briefed by my Department and the Health Service Executive (HSE) on the organisation of acute services in each region and on the important clinical programmes being developed by the HSE. Consequently it is not appropriate for me to meet with the group referred to by the Deputy at this time.
373. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Health and Children the cost of transferring the 24-hour accident and emergency department from Louth County Hospital, Dundalk to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6449/11]
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