Thursday, 5 February 2004

Ceisteanna (28)

Dinny McGinley

Ceist:

23 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Defence his plans for the future development of St. Bricin's Hospital; and if it is his intention to maintain it as a primary medical provider for Defence Forces personnel. [3359/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Defence)

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 is the logistics base facility of the medical corps. Its functions are to provide: a primary care facility for the Dublin garrisons; a military medical occupational medical service base for the Defence Forces; an in-patient capability for the Defence Forces both in Ireland and in support of overseas deployments; and a medical logistics base for the provision of medical equipment, pharmaceutical supplies and strategic medical supplies for the Defence Forces.

There are currently four medical officers, one dental officer and two pharmacists serving in the hospital. There are also two civilian doctors providing a part time service to out-patients. The most dominant factor influencing service delivery at St. Bricin's Hospital is medical manpower. The hospital is working to capacity given the available personnel resources. The hospital is not equipped, and would not have the staffing resources, to provide 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. The hospital is undergoing a general refurbishment programme, including fire safety works and rewiring. The hospital complex also provides accommodation for the Army Pensions Board.

Question No. 24 answered with QuestionNo. 16.