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Health Services

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 3 November 2011

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ceisteanna (161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

163 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the provision being made for persons living in the Dingle area, County Kerry, who need to deal with emergency services and who need the provision of a service for the Irish speaking persons in the Gaeltacht, especially the elderly, who would have little English if an emergency situation was to arise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32608/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

164 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the continuation of the provision of the dental services in Kenmare town, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32609/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

165 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason the dental health centre clinic was taken out of Dingle and centralised to Tralee, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32610/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply to the Deputy.

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

166 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the position regarding the opening of the cystic fibrosis unit in Cork University Hospital; and if he will let CF sufferers finally know whether or not they will be supported by him. [32617/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I have stated my Department's policy that there must be sufficient inpatient beds to treat all people with cystic fibrosis who require hospitalisation.

I am happy to say that construction of the new 100 bed unit at St. Vincent's hospital is well under way and is due to be completed next year. The new building, which has single en-suite rooms and isolation rooms, will play a vital role in the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis and a range of other conditions.

Cork University Hospital has the second largest adult cystic fibrosis (CF) centre in Ireland. The CUH centre currently caters for the needs of 145 adult patients attending from the Munster region.

In September 2007, Dr. Barry Plant was appointed as the Director of the adult cystic fibrosis programme at CUH. Since his appointment, Dr. Plant has worked closely with various HSE services, philanthropic organisations such as Build4Life and CFAI, and scientific research agencies in advancing the needs of these patients. In June of 2008, Dr. Plant, in consultation with the CF Multi Disciplinary Team and the CF community locally, submitted a "Statement of Need" for CF services to the Executive Management Board of Cork University Hospital. This document, which was approved by the Board, outlined a strategic plan to develop CF services in the hospital, including the provision of day and inpatient facilities.

The CF Day Centre, which opened in CUH in May of this year, caters for most clinical needs of CF patients. It includes five isolation rooms, a dedicated CF gym, a multidisciplinary team room and consultant rooms. The capital costs for this development were provided through a partnership approach between HSE South and the Build4Life organisation.

Currently, Dr. Plant is working with the Executive Management Board of the CUH to develop a designated inpatient unit, with en-suite rooms for CF patients. A location has been identified for a combined designated adult inpatient facility and respiratory unit. This is in a vacated ward on the CUH campus. Provisional plans and costings have been made, with an estimated build cost of approximately €3m.

The hospital is working in partnership with Build4Life to co-fund this development. To date, Build4Life has raised over €2m to support CF capital developments at CUH. HSE South is examining ways to secure additional capital funding to complete the unit, in the context of decreasing capital budget allocations in the present stringent climate. The need to develop the adult in-patient facility remains a Board and HSE South priority and the HSE will continue to work with Build4Life to complete this project.

I recently met with the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland and I am keenly aware of the needs of people who live with CF. I am actively considering a Lotto application from Build4Life and will make a decision shortly and will inform the Deputy and Build4Life when I have done so.

Billy Kelleher

Ceist:

167 Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Health the programme for the provision of services for spina bifida and hydrocephalus sufferers; the extent of the provision of multidisciplinary treatment currently available along with future plans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32636/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Billy Timmins

Ceist:

168 Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Health the position regarding an appointment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32663/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am determined to address the issues which cause unacceptable delays in patients receiving treatment in our hospitals. In this regard I have established the Special Delivery Unit (SDU), which will work to unblock access to acute services by dramatically improving the flow of patients through the system, and by streamlining waiting lists, including referrals from GPs. The SDU is working closely with its partner agencies — mainly the HSE and the NTPF.

As a priority, public hospitals have been instructed to ensure that, by the end of 2011, they have no patients waiting more than 12 months for treatment. Where they fail to do so, the NTPF will source the necessary treatments elsewhere and an appropriate budgetary adjustment will be made.

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply. Should the patient's general practitioner consider that the patient's condition warrants an earlier appointment, he/she would be in the best position to take the matter up with the consultant and facility involved.

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