The report of the national task force on medical staffing — Hanly — proposes that the hospitals referred to by the Deputy should form part of an integrated network alongside St. Vincent's University Hospital to meet the acute hospital needs of the east coast region. The report recommends that St. Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, and St. Michael's Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, should be local hospitals within the network. The Hanly report recommends that local hospitals should provide a wide range of services as close as possible to the local community, meeting most of the local population's need for acute hospital care. This would include a greatly expanded proportion of elective day surgery and elective medical procedures, appropriate diagnostic and treatment facilities and improved access for general practitioners to services and diagnostic facilities.
I will shortly announce details of a local implementation group, which will develop a detailed action plan for the implementation of the Hanly report's recommendations in the east coast region.