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Written Answers - Hospital Services

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 70.  Deputy Martin Ferris Information on Martin Ferris Zoom on Martin Ferris  asked the Minister for Health regarding Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly  the new critical care unit in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Limerick, when the unit will open and when it will begin functioning; the arrangements being put in place to ensure sufficient staffing and funding for the unit above and beyond the Health Service Executive regional plan for 2012; if additional non-critical beds will be provided at Limerick; his views that without such non critical beds and if the planned closure of the ICU in Nenagh Hospital, Tipperary proceeds then patients will face repeated journeys to and from Limerick and Nenagh; if he will halt the proposed closure of the Nenagh ICU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16264/12]

Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): Information on James Reilly Zoom on James Reilly In relation to the new critical care block I understand that it will be completed by June 2012 and a period of commissioning will then follow.

The decision to open and close beds is made at hospital management level and approved by the Regional Director of Operations.

I believe we must concentrate on getting the best possible services for patients from the budgets available to us. The work of the Special Delivery Unit, together with implementation of the Clinical Care Programmes in the HSE, will help to improve the efficiency of our hospitals, allowing us to treat as many patients as possible within budget. In the current economic climate the acute sector must reduce its costs in order to deliver the agreed level of activity within the resources available to it. The emphasis in 2012 will continue to be to make the most effective use of acute bed capacity through shorter lengths of stay, increased rates of day-of-surgery admission and more day surgery. In this way the acute hospital system can ensure that, within the level of resources available, it provides safe, effective and efficient care to the maximum number of patients with.

In relation to the specific information sought by the Deputy, as these are service issues they have been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Question No. 71 answered with Question No. 29.

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