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Health Services Provision

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 11 July 2017

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Questions (422)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

422. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health when diagnostic services will be extended to a medical centre (details supplied) to help alleviate pressures on South Tipperary General Hospital; if he will issue a response on this matter as promised by An Taoiseach during Leaders' Questions on 23 May 2017; the exact date of an extension of such a contract following a successful short-term initiative carried out by community healthcare organisation, CHO, 5 to relieve pressures in South Tipperary General Hospital; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that this short-term initiative was not continued despite the fact that the hospital continues to operate a full capacity protocol; the steps he will take to ensure that the HSE finalise this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32443/17]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Delivering on the commitment made during the Leaders' Questions referred to above, I understand that the Deputy has have received the response which issued recently from my office.

The initiative at Mary Street Medical Centre commenced in CHO 5 on Monday, 6th February 2017 and referrals were to be accepted for a two week period, concluding on Friday 17th February 2017. I understand the short time frame and level of spend was informed by obligations under financial regulations. In this regard, predicted activity and associated costs indicated a two week time frame to be appropriate.

As advised, I understand that this initiative was developed as a temporary intervention and, as such, has not been extended. However, I am assured that CHO 5 remains committed to securing a long term solution to the provision of GP direct access to diagnostics and to progressing this matter in collaboration with the HSE Primary Care Division. Appraisal of options and any such solution will be informed by the principles of sound clinical governance, value for money, sustainability and maximisation of existing facilities. All potential solutions will be subject to procurement and financial regulations as appropriate.

I am aware that a key priority for the HSE, as set out in the National Service Plan, 2017 is to consolidate the provision of ultrasound in primary care sites and expand the provision of direct access to x-ray services within existing resources. I can advise you that the HSE is currently working on proposals from the Community Health Organisation areas and Hospital Groups to support the development and enhancement of diagnostic primary care services.

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