Written Answers. - Hospital Accommodation.

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

85 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Health and Children the progress, if any, made in relation to the re-opening of the 20 bed ward and children's ward at Mallow General Hospital, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15474/98]

I met the Friends of Mallow General Hospital last December and emphasised my commitment to ensuring that the hospital would continue to contribute effectively to the delivery of acute hospital services in the Southern Health Board area. Following that meeting officials of my Department visited the hospital on my instructions and had discussions with the medical and nursing staff at the hospital and with Southern Health Board management. In asking my officials to visit the hospital, I emphasised the need to focus on the capacity of the hospital to deal with the prevailing level of activity. The Southern Health Board has been asked to put forward proposals in this regard and I understand that these are currently being developed, following discussions between the staff of the hospital and Southern Health Board management.