17/10/2016

Minister Harris Urged To Explain St. James' Hospital Situation

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has been asked to explain why St. James' Hospital does not have the resources needed to replace its existing ERCP diagnostic machine.

Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher, also called on the Minister to provide the support required by the hospital.

Deputy Kelleher said: "Reports in today's media that the HSE will not provide the funding to replace the faulty machine, and that the hospital is struggling to find replacement parts to fix this important piece of equipment.

"The machine is vitally important in diagnosing diseases located in the bile or pancreatic ducts, gall stones and cancers.

"The fact that this machine is now out of action will only add to the waiting lists for diagnostic endoscopic procedures.

"It seems that the hospital will put contingency plans in place for its own patients, but this machine is used to provide services for patients being referred from around the country. The Minister, and the HSE, needs to intervene."

Deputy Kelleher said the situation was an "example of short-sighted decision making in the HSE and the Department of Health".

"By not replacing this machine, the HSE is bringing upon itself longer waiting lists that will require greater levels of additional funding in the long term. The Minister needs to explain what is going on," Deputy Kelleher added.

"I am calling on Minster Harris to work with the HSE, and the hospital, to release the funding, and ensure that this important diagnostic instrument is available for everyone."

(MH/CD)

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