Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Questions (222, 223)

Denis Naughten

Question:

223 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health, further to Parliamentary Question No. 152 of 26 October 2011, if he will provide an update on this matter; if upgrading works were completed on schedule in Galway; if Roscommon is on schedule to go live in early February; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4439/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

As the Deputy was informed by the HSE in November 2011, it was initially anticipated that upgrading of the existing Radiology system in the Galway University Hospitals Group would take place in January 2012 with the subsequent implementation of a remote access system in Roscommon in February 2012. Due to technical difficulties, the project has been delayed by a number of weeks and it is envisaged that the upgrading will begin in March 2012 with the subsequent roll out out in Roscommon due to take place in April 2012.

Arthur Spring

Question:

224 Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the waiting time for a public patient to receive an appointment for an eye operation in Cork University Hospital, in view of the fact that a person (details supplied) visited an ophthalmic surgeon for consultation in July 2011 in CUH and cannot even be given a tentative date for their required surgery by CUH; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4452/12]

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I am determined to address the issues which cause unacceptable delays in patients receiving treatment in our hospitals. In this regard I have established the Special Delivery Unit (SDU), which will work to unblock access to acute services by dramatically improving the flow of patients through the system, and by streamlining waiting lists, including referrals from GPs. The SDU is working closely with its partner agencies — mainly the HSE and the NTPF.

As a priority, public hospitals were instructed to ensure that, by the end of 2011, they had no patients waiting more than 12 months for treatment. I can confirm that the vast majority of hospitals achieved this objective. During 2012 the SDU will support hospitals in the delivery of a 9 month maximum wait time for inpatient or day case surgery.

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. Should the patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he/she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and facility involved.