Health boards and voluntary hospitals, upon receipt of their annual allocation from my Department, make decisions regarding the level of activity which can be supported by the hospital during the year. In the case of the Mater Hospital, the approved 1994 revenue allocation from my Department was £46.270 million, an increase of £3.825 million — 9 per cent — over the hospital's original allocation of £42.445 million for 1993.
In early 1994, the Mater Hospital made its decisions in relation to the quantum of service that would be provided by the approved allocation from my Department. However, during a subsequent review over the summer, the hospital authorities decided that the elective cardiology service should be curtailed. In making this decision, I understand that the hospital made it clear that emergency cases would continue to be treated. In the circumstances, I cannot accept the implications contained in the Deputy's question.