At this stage, one almost knows off by heart the section in the reply referring to the HSE. It is the standard reply we get to all parliamentary questions submitted on health-related issues.
Does the Minister recall that in September last year, just before her predecessor, Deputy Martin, left office, following a meeting with representatives of the North Eastern Health Board, he agreed to progress as a matter of urgency a range of measures for Cavan General Hospital and Monaghan General Hospital? Does she recall also that some, but not all, of the commitments of the Minister, Deputy Martin, were repeated in her reply to a Dáil question from this Deputy on 12 October? I understand some of the commitments have been fulfilled, which is welcome. However, I want to ask the Minister about the outstanding commitments. First, there were to be ten additional day beds at Monaghan General Hospital, which have not materialised. This is a cause of great concern to staff and patients. Why have these extra beds not been delivered? When will they be delivered?
In a statement following the September meeting, the former Minister, Deputy Martin, promised to provide a CAT scan facility at Monaghan General Hospital. The Minister omitted to mention this in her reply in October. I would like her to address the fact this did not follow through between the departure of the former Minister, Deputy Martin, and her taking up office. What has become of that commitment? When making further inquiries recently in regard to this matter, a staff member stated that the lack of a CAT scan facility is crucifying the hospital. This is the reality with which the staff is dealing. Is the Minister aware that an average of six patients per day, and sometimes more, many of them on ventilators, are brought by ambulance or transported by whatever means to Cavan for CAT scans? Nurses must accompany these patients, which means the complement of nurses available at Monaghan General Hospital is severely reduced on a daily basis where there is already a shortage of nursing staff. Will the Minister commit to provide a CAT scan facility, as promised last September?
Finally, the 19 additional beds at Cavan also committed to, and followed through in the Minister's statement in October, have not been provided. When will that commitment be delivered on?