Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

512 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has conducted an appraisal of the investment needed to provide Beaumont Hospital with additional intensive care and high dependency beds; if the allocation of capital resources to this project had been considered by his Department prior to the establishment of the Eastern Regional Health Authority; and if the criteria for setting capital priorities will give high priority to projects such as this which are undermining the capacity of the hospital. [1333/02]

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I have approved funding for the commissioning, as a priority, of 37 additional beds at Beaumont Hospital. As part of this development two additional intensive care beds will be provided at the hospital. The decision to fund this development was taken following discussions with the Eastern Regional Health Authority.

I have been advised by the ERHA that Beaumont Hospital submitted a proposal in September 2000 to the authority for the development and expansion of its intensive care and high dependency units. A revised proposal was received by the ERHA in November 2001. The ERHA is currently reviewing this submission from Beaumont Hospital.