Dáil Éireann - Volume 639 - 10 October, 2007

Written Answers. - Health Services.

Deputy Mary O’Rourke asked the Minister for Health and Children the situation and status of the proposed one stop shop health centre in Athlone, County Westmeath; and if her attention has been drawn to the decision by the previous person in the Health Service Executive responsible for the project to unilaterally alter the design and monetary basis for the this project despite the fact she had earlier agreed all details. [22944/07]

  Deputy Mary Harney: The Primary Care Strategy aims to increase health service capacity through the development of services in the community to give people direct access to integrated multi-disciplinary teams of occupational therapists, general practitioners, nurses, home helps, physiotherapists and others.

It has been estimated that up to 95% of people’s health and social services needs can be properly met within a primary care setting and the establishment of new Primary Care Teams can contribute greatly to enhancing community based health services.

The provision of the appropriate infrastructure to facilitate the delivery of primary care services is being considered by the HSE, having regard to a number of factors. These include the type and configuration of the services involved, the mixed public/private nature of our health system, the suitability of existing infrastructure and the capital requirements of the health services generally over the coming years.

As the Health Service Executive has the operational and funding responsibility for Primary Care services, it is the appropriate body to consider the particular matter raised by the Deputy. My Department has requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the Executive to arrange to [698] have this matter investigated and to have a reply issued directly to the Deputy.