Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (596)

John McGuinness


710 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children his plans to upgrade the health centre located in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, as part of the need to improve infrastructure on foot of the decentralisation programme announced by the Government for Thomastown; if he will examine other sites now available in Thomastown with a view to relocating the centre and improving the services offered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1564/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

The provision of health centres to meet the needs of local communities within its functional area, is a matter for the relevant health board or the Eastern Regional Health Authority in line with funding available under the national development plan. In the case of the centre at Thomastown, County Kilkenny, this responsibility rests with the South Eastern Health Board.

I have been advised that that health board is aware of the limitations of the present structure with regards to the provision of services and is actively pursuing the acquisition of an alternative site in Thomastown in order to relocate the health centre. The board has also indicated that it will take account of the potential implications of decentralisation when planning any new developments.