Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Thursday, 17 December 2015
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children
Acute Hospital Services: Discussion
I thank all the witnesses for the work they have done in this regard. It has not been an easy job because all sorts of power games go on all the time in the medical profession and within the entire hospital structure. Consequently, it is a great achievement to have effected the change that has come about. The position in Cork always intrigued me in that there were a number of different hospitals in which everybody did a bit of everything. The present position, with the grouping together of particular services into one hospital or another, has worked out reasonably well. Much work has been done and it was necessary to jump a lot of hurdles to achieve this goal. I thank the witnesses for the work they have done in this regard and it has been a huge achievement. There is further work to be done, such as with the maternity units, for instance. Cork had three maternity units but now is down to a single newly built unit and that has worked out effectively. Another example that always intrigued me was paediatric services and how such services were offered in all three units whereas people now are working towards having paediatric services offered in one unit.
At present, Cork has two voluntary hospitals, namely, the South Infirmary-Victoria Hospital and the Mercy University Hospital. In the proposals outlined by Mr. O'Flynn, what will be the role of the voluntary groups in this restructuring? In particular I am considering this from the point of view of funds that could be made available in that the sites of both the aforementioned hospitals are in the middle of the city.