The Sláintecare Action Plan for 2019 includes a commitment to develop criteria for new dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities. Detailed policy analysis to underpin this very significant health capital development is required to guide service and operational specifications for the new facilities.
Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan are long-term plans which will provide the capital funding to develop dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities. However, we must ensure that we carefully plan the use of this capital funding to meet the populations health needs and achieve value for money.
Project Ireland 2040 includes provision for new dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities will be introduced in Dublin, Galway and Cork. These facilities will provide high volume, low complexity procedures on a day and outpatient basis, together with a range of ambulatory diagnostic services. The high volume of demand for such services in these major urban centres is sufficient to justify the construction of dedicated ambulatory centres.
It is envisaged that these facilities will be sited adjacent to acute hospitals. The aim is to both increase capacity in the hospital system and provide a better separation of scheduled and unscheduled care, in line with the recommendations of the Sláintecare Report. They will provide increased, protected capacity for elective treatment and free up capacity in major hospitals to address higher complexity and emergency care.