Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (481, 484)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

481. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the role and services he expects primary care centres to play in the coming years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24251/14]

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Terence Flanagan

Question:

484. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if he has considered establishing 24 hour urgent care centres, community units to take X-rays and deal with stitches, broken limbs and so on and would take the pressure off accident and emergency units in our cities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24257/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 481 and 484 together.

International research shows that shared premises are a key enabler for successful team working in the primary care setting. Shared premises encourage and facilitate interaction across all health care professionals and that is why my Department and the HSE are committed to developing Primary Care Centres nationally. The Programme for Government highlights the expansion of Primary Care Centres as a priority within the health capital budget. The National Service Plan 2014 provides for the procurement of an additional 21 Primary Care Centres this year. This will create an environment for improved access which will facilitate structured approaches to chronic disease management, enhanced multidisciplinary team working, improved diagnostic capabilities in Primary Care and the integration of services between primary and secondary care.

The HSE's Primary Care Division is also working with the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Directorate to expand chronic disease prevention and management in primary care and this includes the development and roll out of improved access to diagnostic tests for GPs particularly ultrasound. This will greatly assist in early diagnosis, hospital avoidance, greater integrated care and a better, safer, patient experience. This initiative is currently at development stage and it is planned to roll out this service initially in two pilot sites in 2014.