Written Answers. - Tallaght Hospital Report.


113 Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will make a statement in relation to a recent consultant's report to his Department on the funding issues involved for Tallaght Hospital; if his Department will provide necessary funding enabling the hospital to carry out its charter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24724/98]

Bernard J. Durkan


121 Mr. J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps, if any, he will take to address the issue of funding shortages at Tallaght Hospital with a view to ensuring the full utilisation of the services available at this hospital and the rapid delivery of services to the public; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1874/99]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): I propose to take Questions Nos. 113 and 121 together.
The recent Deloitte & Touche report on Tallaght Hospital comprehensively dealt with the funding issues involved for the new hospital.
The issues covered in the report encompass the process of funding, the basis of funding, the amount of funds made available and the management process used by the hospital to prepare the 1998 service plan and the controls on expenditure at the new hospital.
It is clear from the report that the hospital did not consider that it had an obligation to adhere to the terms of the letter of determination, which set out,inter alia, the funding available for 1998. The report also makes clear that the Department examined different options with regard to the basis for funding the hospital in that year. The position is that the option most favourable to the hospital was adopted by the Department. I am satisfied that the funding allocated to the hospital last year was adequate to run the hospital for six months at its new location in Tallaght and the base hospitals until 21 June 1998. The level of funding compared very favourably with other hospitals undertaking similar volumes and complexity of work and made allowance for the additional expenditure involved in establishing services at the new location.
The hospital was notified of its non-capital determination for 1999 on 23 December 1998 in the sum of £64.690 million. A further £3.916 million was approved in respect of the spending in relation to the federated Dublin voluntary hospitals.
Deputies should be aware that almost all of this latter amount refers to staffing at the Tallaght Hospital. The total amount available to the hospital for 1999 is, therefore, approximately £69 million. Given the hospital's case mix and state of the art facilities, I am satisfied that this amount is sufficient to meet pay and non-pay costs, including the full year costs of 1998 service developments. The hospital's service plan is due in my Department within the coming weeks, following which officials will meet the hospital management to review the plan.
This determination was made in the context of the significant excess expenditure incurred in 1998, the findings and recommendations in the Deloitte & Touche report, and the agreement reached with the board of management on 18 December, as reflected in the joint statement issued on that day, concerning the way forward.
In particular, the hospital was advised that the determination is designed to meet the costs of maintaining approved services at the hospital through 1999. It does not include any provision for the further development of services; it has been agreed that the detail of any such developments will be the subject of further discussions with my Department when it is clear that the recommendations in the Deloitte & Touche report have been fully implemented to my satisfaction.