Dáil Éireann - Volume 656 - 05 June, 2008

Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children the position in [564] regard to the future of St. Luke’s Hospital Dublin 6; the extent of negotiations that have taken place with any body or bodies expected to have a bearing on the future of the use of the hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22471/08]

  Deputy Mary Harney: It is important to note that the transfer of services from St. Luke’s Hospital to new facilities at St. James’s Hospital is not due to take place for a number of years. In the meantime, two additional linear accelerators were commissioned at St. Luke’s earlier this year and two replacement linear accelerators will be commissioned later this year. These will provide much needed interim capacity pending the roll out of the National Plan for Radiation Oncology.

The decision to transfer services from St. Luke’s was taken by the Government in the context of its consideration of the National Plan for Radiation Oncology Services. The decision is based on expert advice and is designed to ensure that radiation oncology is integrated with all other aspects of cancer care, including surgery and medical oncology. This is in line with best international practice. I am convinced that this model will provide better patient centred treatment with improved quality of service and outcome for patients. The Board of St. Luke’s Hospital and its Executive Management Team are fully committed to supporting the Government’s decision in relation to the development of radiation oncology.

No decisions have yet been taken in relation to the future use of the site and facilities at St. Luke’s. However, I am anxious to ensure that these resources are utilised in the best interest of the health services.