Written Answers. - Disused Hospitals.

John Gormley

Question:

117 Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Health and Children the proposals, if any, that exist for the alternative health use of the Meath, Adelaide and Harcourt Street hospitals in Dublin. [8340/98]

The new hospital at Tallaght will incorporate the services currently being provided at the Adelaide Hospital, the Meath Hospital and the National Children's Hospital, Harcourt Street. In addition, acute psychiatric services currently being provided at St. Loman's Hospital will also transfer to Tallaght.

The Meath Hospital, the Adelaide Hospital and the National Children's Hospital are voluntary hospitals and as such, the hospitals or their successor bodies, have full ownership of their sites. When the services transfer to Tallaght, I understand that the hospital sites will be sold as the premises will no longer function as acute hospitals. Since agreement was reached on the development of the new hospital — the Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin incorporating the National Children's Hospital — it has always been understood that the three constituent hospitals would close as acute hospitals once the new hospital is opened. As the Deputy may be aware, the Eastern Health Board's Working Group on the South Inner City Primary Care Needs Assessment identified the problems likely to arise following the relocation of existing services to Tallaght. It recommended the establishment of a primary care centre and the enhancement of general practice and community services in the south inner city, with the primary care centre acting as a central focus for the organisation and delivery of services encompassing the full range of health care and administrative needs for primary care services in the area. The Eastern Health Board is currently examining a number of options for the provision of these services including the possibility of acquiring the Meath Hospital campus.