Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Photo of Dominic HanniganDominic Hannigan (Meath East, Labour)
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170. To ask the Minister for Health the position regarding the Health Service Executive's plans to introduce bilateral cochlear implants as standard for children that need them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47255/13]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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Beaumont Hospital is the centre for delivering Ireland’s national cochlear implant programme, with surgical provision for patients under six years being carried out in the Children’s University Hospital Temple Street. Since the programme commenced in 1995, over 700 patients have received cochlear implants. Beaumont Hospital carried out ninety cochlear implants in 2012 (42 children and 48 adults).

The HSE has developed a proposal, in liaison with Beaumont Hospital, to introduce a bilateral cochlear implant programme in Ireland. It is planned that the programme will be located in Beaumont Hospital.

This is a complex development and the HSE has engaged with many stakeholders in the proposal development. Introduction of bilateral cochlear implantation will involve additional staff, equipment and capital works and will be dependent on additional funding being made available to support its commencement. The proposal is being considered in the context of the Health Estimate for 2014, announced on 15 October last, and the development of the HSE's National Service Plan 2014.

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