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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 3 Dec 1997

Vol. 484 No. 1

Written Answers. - Hospital Waiting Lists.

Róisín Shortall


100 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of money his Department has provided to reduce the hospital waiting lists for public patients awaiting coronary treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21634/97]

Cardiac surgery waiting lists are maintained at four centres — the Mater Hospital, St. James's Hospital, Cork University Hospital and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin. Adult cardiac surgery is carried out at the Mater Hospital and Cork University Hospital. Paediatric cardiac surgery is performed at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.

The Deputy will wish to know that I have recently approved a sum of £1.7 million under the 1997 waiting list initiative, specifically for cardiac surgery patients. As in 1996, the aim is to reduce the existing national cardiac surgery lists; specifically the number of patients waiting over 12 months. My Department's strategy for achieving this aim involves the purchase of additional cardiac procedures and the selection of suitable patients for medical cardiac therapies. I am confident that this will impact positively on the cardiac surgery waiting list.

The provision of additional cardiac surgery facilities is a matter of national importance and one which will require significant capital and revenue investment over the next few years. The question of the provision of cardiac care services overall is under review at the moment. However, I hope to be in a position to bring my proposals to Government in this regard in the very near future. An announcement will then be made on the location of additional cardiac care services.