Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Questions (29)

John Halligan


29. Deputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Health if he will confirm the assurances given by him and his Department that certain services would be retained by Waterford Regional Hospital and reinforced by the move to hospital trusts; the original timeframe given in relation to these assurances; his views that the lack of progress in this area is raising serious concerns in the local community in relation to the move from WRH to the establishment of hospital groups and the transition then to independent hospital trusts; if he will reiterate his promise to the people of Waterford and the south-east region that WRH will continue as the hub for the south-east renal services and will continue to be a regional trauma centre; if he will ensure WRH continues to provide the full range of elective and trauma orthopaedic services and invasive cardiology services and will also implement a 24-7 cardiology service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21145/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I am happy to provide the necessary reassurances to the Deputy that in the context of the implementation of Hospital Groups, the range of services currently available in Waterford Regional Hospital will be retained and enhanced. The Hospital will, inter alia, operate as a cancer centre under the National Cancer Control Programme, be the hub for the South-East renal service, a regional trauma centre (including ED, ENT and Ophthalmology) and continue to provide invasive cardiology services for the South-East population, with plans to develop a 24/7 cardiology service.

The renaming of Waterford Regional Hospital as Waterford University Hospital is also of significance. This new name will reflect the status of the hospital as a facility with significant links to the South/South West Hospital Group's Academic Partner, University College Cork. These links will provide opportunities for sharing of experiences and expertise as well as furthering the research agenda and ensure that the Hospital will have an expanded teaching role within the Group.

The establishment of Hospital Groups is a key building block in delivering on the Programme for Government commitment to fundamentally reform our health services and will provide the optimum configuration for hospital services to deliver high quality, safe patient care in a cost effective manner.

Question No. 30 answered with Question No. 24.