asked the Minister for Health if he has satisfied himself with the present emergency services available in the city of Dublin in relation to public health and safety and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Emergency Services.
I am satisfied with the emergency ambulance and infectious diseases services in Dublin to which I understand the Deputy's question relates.
There is a 24-hour a day accident and emergency ambulance service in the city of Dublin provided by the Dublin Fire Brigade in conjunction with the acute general hospitals in the city. In addition the Eastern Health Board provide a 24-hour cardiac ambulance service with specially equipped ambulances.
Plans have been agreed between the Gardaí, the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance service, the Eastern Health Board and my Department to cope with any major accidents that may occur in the Dublin area. This major accident plan has been brought into use on a few occasions and has operated successfully. It is reviewed from time to time.
The Dublin medical officer of health is responsible for the co-ordination of public health matters, including the control of infectious diseases in the Dublin area. The medical officer and his staff have wide powers in relation to the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
In relation to the development of Beaumont Hospital and the proposed transfer of a number of the inner city hospitals to the site at Beaumont in the north of Dublin city, I should like to know if the Minister envisages that the service for inner city emergency purposes will be non-existent following that move? What is the intention in view of that?
If the Deputy puts down a question about the arrangements in those circumstances, I will answer it. The Deputy may take it that the whole city of Dublin will be covered by the emergency service and the continuing day to day service. Those services have been working very effectively and I expect they will continue to do so. In the cardiac ambulance service, which has only been developed on an experimental basis in the last few years, there are now ten fully equipped ambulances in the city. The services are very effective and with any further developments in hospitals that effectiveness will have to be maintained.
This has been the source of widespread public concern for a number of months. People are concerned that there will not be any hospital in the north of the inner city of Dublin capable of coping with the disasters which occurred several times in the last few years.
The Deputy is making a statement.
Is the Minister aware that there will be urgent need for a revision of the emergency services in the north of Dublin inner city consequent on the moving of Jervis Street Hospital?
The Deputy is now giving information, not seeking it.
I hope I am. Will the Minister give that matter his attention?
I will consider it. I am aware of the possibility the Deputy has referred to but I am also confident that arrangements have been included to meet it.
The roads are not great going towards Beaumont, particularly if something happens at 5.30 in the evening.
I will give the matter consideration.