Written Answers. - Accident and Emergency Services.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

635 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of assaults, provoked and unprovoked, at casualty departments in each of the health board regions. [20444/00]

I presume the Deputy is referring to the number of patients who present at casualty departments for care and treatment following injuries sustained as a result of assaults, provoked and unprovoked, on their persons. This information is not routinely collected and collated by my Department but if the Deputy will specify the period(s) in respect of which she requires details of such assaults I will ask the chief executive officers of the relevant agencies to furnish them directly to her.

Frances Fitzgerald

Question:

636 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Health and Children the support given to casualty departments to computerise their data; if he has satisfied himself with the rate of progress to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20445/00]

I recognise the importance of the appropriate use of modern technology to assist in the efficient delivery of health care services. In the last five years my Department has provided approximately £55 million to support a programme of investment in information systems. One of the priorities under this investment programme in the health board-voluntary hospital sector has been the installation of a range of modern hospital systems, including accident and emergency systems.

The national development plan also recognises the significant role information and communications technology, ICT, will have in the provision of an efficient and effective health service. The plan has earmarked approximately £145 million for capital investments in ICT during the period 2000-06. The systems to be provided under this investment programme are expected to permeate virtually all aspects of service delivery, including accident and emergency services. It is a matter for the management of each individual hospital to prioritise its own information technology budget requirements.