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Hospital Waiting Lists.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 22 November 2005

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Ceisteanna (52, 53, 54)

Dinny McGinley

Ceist:

94 Mr. McGinley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her plans to reduce the waiting lists for neuroservices in Beaumont Hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35399/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Paul McGrath

Ceist:

129 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the number of beds dedicated to neuroservices in Beaumont Hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35401/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Dinny McGinley

Ceist:

146 Mr. McGinley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the level of investment that her Department has given to neuroservices in Beaumont Hospital since 1997; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35400/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 94, 129, and 146 together.

The Deputies' questions relate to the management and delivery of health and personal social services, which are the responsibility of the Health Service Executive under the Health Act 2004. My Department is advised by the HSE that in the period 1997 to 2004 the total expenditure on inpatient and outpatient neuroscience services at Beaumont Hospital was almost €194 million. The HSE has also advised that there are currently 30 beds allocated to neurology and 90 beds allocated to neurosurgery at Beaumont.

There are currently six consultant neurosurgeons in the department of neurosurgery at Beaumont. The HSE is currently in discussions with the hospital in relation to a seventh consultant neurosurgery post on the basis of increasing demands and workload.

So far this year, the National Treatment Purchase Fund, NTPF, has arranged treatment for some 234 patients who had been awaiting neurosurgical procedures at Beaumont. Comhairle na nOspidéal is currently finalising its review of neurosurgical services to assess the future national requirements for this service. As part of this review, it is examining future resource requirements in terms of consultant and support staffing, inpatient, adult and paediatric beds and specialised services, including ICU. The findings from this report will inform future investment decisions in the service.

The Comhairle report on neurology and neurophysiology services, published in April 2003, recommended significant enhancement of these services, including increases in consultant staffing. Since the publication of the report, two additional consultant neurology posts have been approved bringing the total to 16. Two consultant neurophysiology posts have also been approved, one of which is a new post shared between Beaumont Hospital and Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.

Additional funding was made available in 2005 to support the development of neurology-neurophysiology services in the eastern, the north western, the mid-western and the southern regions, having regard to agreed priorities. In 2006, additional funding of €3 million is being allocated specifically for the further development of neurology and neurophysiology services. The additional funding will allow the Health Service Executive to further progress the implementation of the Comhairle recommendations in respect of this service.

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