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Parliamentary Question re: Funding for Naas Endoscopy Unit

QUESTION NO: 146

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Health (Leo Varadkar)

by Deputy Anthony Lawlor

for WRITTEN ANSWER on 11/12/2014

* To ask the Minister for Health if funding will be made available for the endoscopic unit of Naas General Hospital, County Kildare, under the supplementary budget for his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Anthony Lawlor T.D.

REPLY.

In view of the escalation of waiting lists for certain scheduled care procedures, and the number of patients breaching government targets for scheduled care provision, the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) was requested by the Department to work with the HSE to develop an initiative to address waiting list breaches. GI endoscopes were identified as the clinical area where intervention could be most effectively targeted.

€1 million in funding has been allocated to allow for up to 2,000 extra Gastrointestinal scopes to be conducted before the end of the year in five hospitals across Ireland. Naas General Hospital is one of these hospitals. The national target for a person waiting for GI Endoscopy scopes is 13 weeks. The funding provided will treat some of those waiting the longest for these procedures and is expected to reduce the numbers waiting in excess of the waiting target.

Furthermore, given that the through-put of endoscopy patients in Naas was being constrained by the physical layout of the unit, a submission for a new endoscopy unit for Naas General Hospital, as a component of a larger development was recommended for inclusion in the Capital Plan 2015-2019. The estimated cost of the development is in the region of €8.5m and the HSE has advised that planning permission has recently been received for this new development.

In relation funding to be made available to the endoscopic unit at Naas General Hospital, as this is a service matter, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly. If you have not received a reply from the HSE within 15 working days please contact my Private Office and my officials will follow the matter up.

ENDS