Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (863)

Niamh Smyth


863. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Health the status of works planned for the refurbishment of the emergency department at Cavan General Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35022/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The establishment of Hospital Groups has enabled a better configuration of hospital services with benefits relating to safety, quality, access, cost and sustainable medical staffing. The structure ensures that Hospitals working together in a Group will be able to support each other, providing a stronger role for smaller hospitals in delivering less complex care, and ensuring that those who require emergency or complex planned care are managed safely in larger hospitals.

The Smaller Hospitals Framework focuses in particular on the future role of smaller hospitals and outlines the wide range of services that can be provided within these smaller hospitals. The Department of Health is committed to securing and further developing the role of our smaller hospitals, including Model 3 hospitals such as Cavan Hospital, with the expansion of services delivered in these hospitals, especially in services such as day surgery; ambulatory care; medical services and diagnostics.

Future investment in Cavan General Hospital will be considered within the overall acute hospital infrastructure programme, the prioritised needs of the hospital groups and within the overall capital envelope available to the health service.

Project Ireland 2040 provides €10.9 billion for Health capital developments across the country, including both national programmes and individual projects, across acute, primary and social care. Health capital projects and programmes currently underway will continue. As to be expected with such a plan, many proposals are at an early stage and will require to progress through appraisal, planning design and tender before a firm timeline or funding required can be established.

The planning and management of future health expenditure is considered as part of the annual estimates and budgetary process which seeks to balance available funding across all service areas to achieve the best possible outcomes for the greatest number of service users and prioritise areas of greatest need.

As this is an operational matter, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to you directly as soon as possible.