Written Answers. - Health Board Correspondence.

Jack Wall

Question:

341 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will provide a computer link between each hospital and its relevant health board in order that bed spaces could be collated to ensure maximum use of the bed spaces available within the health board and to ensure that general practitioners or consultants have ready access to such information; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7659/01]

The method by which health boards communicate internally is primarily a matter for the individual health boards. However, I am currently developing a national health strategy that I intend to launch in mid-year. This strategy will, amongst other things, consider opportunities for streamlining the operation of the health services. Specifically, this strategy has a working group on "E-health" which is dedicated to looking at the opportunities afforded by modern information and communications technologies (ICT) to improve the health care system. It is intended that the new health strategy will include policy recommendations regarding the application of modern ICT in the health services generally.