Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cork Hospital Accommodation.

asked the Minister for Health if he is aware of (a) the continued unsatisfactory problem of hospital accommodation for patients in Cork City and the adjoining rural area, and (b) the proposals of the local authority (South Cork Board of Public Assistance) to erect a regional hospital at Wilton, Cork; and, if so, whether he will state the present position regarding them.

No complaints have been received in my Department in regard to the lack of hospital accommodation for patients in Cork City and the adjoining rural area. The accommodation for patients in that area will be greatly improved when the regional hospital at Wilton has been provided.

As regards the regional hospital, a conference took place between officers of my Department and the architects for the project on the 25th June last and final agreement was reached on the diagrammatic sketch scheme. Some modifications are to be made in the scheme which will then be submitted by the architects in its final form to the local authority and to my Department.

As there are great difficulties in getting beds for patients in this area, can the Minister assure us that the modifications which may be in view will be dealt with as soon as possible so that, after 18 or 20 years, they will be able to go on with this?

There will be no delay.

Even though they are 18 years in operation.