Written Answers. - Defence Forces Property.

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Ceist:

104 Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for Defence his future plans for St. Bricin's military hospital in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18874/03]

The reorganisation of the Medical Corps, under the Defence Forces review implementation plan in November 1998, was embraced as an opportunity to redirect the focus of military medical care in the Defence Forces from a predominantly hospital based service to one in which primary care, occupational medicine and field support would continue to be further developed.

St. Bricin's military hospital can currently provide inpatient accommodation, a pharmacy service and a range of outpatient services for members of the Defence Forces. Outpatient services provided include primary care services, post hospital reviews, ENT, ophthalmology, psychiatry, physiotherapy, radiology, pathology and dental services, including periodontal treatment. There is a well equipped laboratory and X-ray facility. The total number of patients admitted during 2002 was 117 and the total number of bed days was 1080. Outpatients' attendances to the hospital for 2002 came to 10,918 and 6,670 up to the end of June 2003.

At present there are five medical officers, one dental officer and two pharmacists serving in the hospital. There are also two civilian doctors providing a part time service to outpatients. The most dominant factor influencing service delivery at St. Bricin's hospital is medical manpower. The hospital is working to capacity in the light of available personnel resources. The hospital is not equipped, and would not have the staffing resources, to provide additional more sophisticated or other specialist services, other than those provided at present. There are no plans to change the current role of St. Bricin's hospital.
St. Bricin's hospital is undergoing a general refurbishment program, including fire safety and rewiring. The hospital complex also provides accommodation for the Army Pensions Board.