Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Pádraic McCormack

Question:

311 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has made funds available to the Western Health Board for an extension of the dialysis unit at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7453/01]

As part of a structured programme of investment in the development of renal dialysis services nationally, I made an additional £300,000 available to the Western Health Board in 2001. This is aimed at achieving improvements in acute haemodialysis services and the development of other dialysis treatment programmes.

I understand from the board that a plan has been put in place to upgrade and extend the dialysis unit at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway. This involves the number of beds in the unit being extended from seven to ten and the adaption of the unit to a more patient-friendly variety. This increase in the number of beds will increase the maximum number of treatments available by up to three per day.