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Written Answers. - Carotid Ultrasound Scan.

Wednesday, 12 June 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 466 No. 7

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 69. Mr. S. Brennan Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  asked the Minister for Health Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  if his attention has been drawn to the waiting list for brain scans at a hospital (details supplied) in County Dublin where a patient referred by another hospital cannot be attended to until 18 July 1996; his views on whether this delay is satisfactory from the patient's medical point of view; the funding, if any, that have been made available for providing necessary equipment to allow more hospitals have a scan facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12231/96]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan,: Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan Limerick East): The patient was referred from St. Columcille's Hospital on 29 May for a carotid ultrasound scan at St. Vincent's Hospital. He was given an appointment for 18 July. The consultant physician attending the patient has advised that while it is necessary for him to have this scan, it is not considered urgent and that the appointment date of 18 July is appropriate in this case. I assure the Deputy that all urgent cases, whether in-patient or out-patient are treated as a priority and are given immediate appointments.

There is a wide variety of medical equipment that provides a scanning facility and it is not necessary or feasible that all such equipment be located in every acute hospital. The Deputy will be aware that, in line with the policy for acute hospitals contained in the health strategy, I am encouraging the development of services within each health board area through a network of hospitals which will operate as a coordinated, complementary grouping. I am pleased to say that the south east Dublin region, where both hospitals are situated, is well advanced in the development of services in a co-ordinated manner, with the establishment of joint departments of anaesthetics, surgery and medicine.

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