Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

269 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Health and Children the impact the withdrawal of recognition for accident and emergency departments in over 20 local hospitals will have for the Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3924/03]

In June, 2002, the Irish surgical postgraduate training committee of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland published guidelines for the recognition of training posts in accident and emergency departments of acute hospitals providing such services. These guidelines state:

The Department must be under the clinical and administrative control of one or more Emergency Medicine Consultants devoting the whole or major part (eight or greater sessions) of their clinical time to the day to day supervision and training of the junior medical staff.

I am advised by the Western Health Board that recognition for the accident and emergency department at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, has not been withdrawn. Discussions have taken place with the RCSI regarding the board's proposal for the delivery of accident and emergency services in the region. I understand that the board is confident that satisfactory arrangements will be agreed with the RCSI for the ongoing delivery of accident and emergency services at Portiuncula.