Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Gay Mitchell

Question:

274 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason there is no children's ward in the country since the closure of Cherry Orchard Hospital in Dublin to acute admissions that could be classed as an isolation ward for the purposes of an epidemic amongst children; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19449/03]

Gay Mitchell

Question:

275 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason, since the closure of Cherry Orchard Hospital in Dublin to acute paediatric admissions, there is now no children's ward in any hospital here capable of dealing with an outbreak of a serious infectious disease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19450/03]

Gay Mitchell

Question:

276 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason the country's national centre for infectious disease has only two isolation beds and no isolation ward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19451/03]

Gay Mitchell

Question:

278 Mr. G. Mitchell asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason, in view of the current Government's publicly stated commitment to ensure the country is adequately prepared for a bioterrorism attack such as an outbreak of anthrax, there is a lack of isolation facilities at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19453/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 274 to 276, inclusive, and 278 together.

Funding of services at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children and Cherry Orchard Hospital is provided under an arrangement with the Eastern Regional Health Authority. My Department has asked the regional chief executive of the authority to furnish a report on the issues referred to by the Deputy and I will revert to him directly when this report is to hand.