Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Richard Bruton

Question:

302 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children when his Department will provide a heart and lung transplant unit for many patients in the country; if he has considered a suitable location for such a unit; if he will ascertain the total number of cystic fibrosis adults and children who are currently waiting for transplant, in order to prolong or save their lives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10768/03]

Arrangements are being put in place to facilitate the commencement of the lung transplant programme in 2003. Considerable preparatory work has already been completed, including the provision of appropriate assessment facilities required to support the development of the service and the appointment of key transplant personnel at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, which has been designated as the surgical site for the programme. Revenue funding of €7.9 million has been provided in the current year to support the commencement of the programme.

My Department does not routinely collect data relating to the number of adults and children with cystic fibrosis who are currently waiting for transplant. As services at the Mater Hospital are provided under an arrangement with the Eastern Regional Health Authority, my Department has asked the regional chief executive of the authority to examine this matter and to reply to the Deputy directly.