asked the Minister for Health why he has not yet approved the request of the Dublin Health Authority for approval to the engagement of an architect to examine and report on the present structure of Hospital 3 in St. Kevin's Hospital; if he is aware that the interior of the building and particularly the sluicing rooms, bathrooms and toilets are substandard; that the amenities for patients and staff are well below acceptable standards; and that it is beyond economic repair internally; and how soon steps will be taken to either substantially rebuild the interior of the building or to replace the whole structure with a new building.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - St. Kevin's Hospital (Dublin).
As the Deputy will be aware, the report of the Consultative Council on the General Hospital Services has recommended the development of a General Hospital on St. Kevin's site utilising as far as possible existing buildings on the site and to which would be transferred some of the services now provided in the Federated Dublin Voluntary Hospitals. This recommendation involves a radical change both in the type of service provided at St. Kevin's and in the form of administration of the hospital. At my request, negotiations have commenced between the Dublin Health Authority and the authorities of the Federated Hospitals to investigate means of implementing this recommendation of the Consultative Council. In addition, the Federated Hospitals have recently engaged a firm of consultants to advise them on this matter and, as part of their investigation, the consultants are examining the suitability of the St. Kevin's site and buildings for development as a general hospital. Their report is expected within the next two months and should greatly help in the formulation of an overall development plan for the hospital.
I accept the need for improvements in the existing conditions in Hospital 3 but I feel that it would be unwise to embark on a major scheme of reconstruction of this building until there is some clarification of the overall developments at the hospital.