,Limerick East): The Deputy will wish to know that, between 1994 and 1995, my Department made substantial funding available to the South Infirmary Victoria Hospital to support the development of radiology services. In November 1995, my Department approved a consultant radiologist post at the hospital. I understand that, pending the appointment of a permanent radiologist, the hospital has in place a temporary radiologist and a temporary radiographer. A a result, the waiting time for routine patients has been reduced and the patients due to be seen in October 1996 will now be seen next month. All patients on routine waiting lists have been written to and given earlier appointment dates and informed that if they have any queries they should contact their GPs immediately.
The hospital's policy with regard to urgent cases is that they are seen immediately at the breast clinic on referral by their GPs. The Deputy will also wish to know that on breast clinic days, mammograms are taken in respect of all patients.