Fine Gael deputy Peter Fitzpatrick has said the Higgin’s report on hospital groups will give hospitals like the Louth the support they need to treat more people in the future to the highest possible standards.
“As part of a new, far-reaching reform of the health service,” he said, “six new hospital groups are being established to reorganise and maximise our hospital structure. Under this framework, Louth County Hospital will be part of the Dublin North East Group, which also includes Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda, Connolly Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, the Rotunda Hospital, Monaghan General Hospital and Cavan General Hospital.
“This plan is considered the biggest reorganisation of Irish hospitals in the history of the state, the aim of which is to make our hospitals safer, reduce waiting lists and cut the number of trolleys in A&E. It will also allow hospitals develop to their true potential by specialising in certain procedures.
“It is the intention of the Small Hospitals Framework to develop the volume of activity of the smaller hospitals substantially. Our smaller hospitals are a huge asset and it is time we gave them room to grow and to maximise their resources. Under the plan, 40 new procedures will be available to smaller hospitals, that to date have been carried out only in our larger hospitals. The potential for the development of Louth County Hospital to treat more patients and to increase activity in areas such as day surgery, diagnostics, rehabilitation and chronic disease management is immense.
“All groups will have at least one cancer centre, one maternity provider and a named academic partner to ensure that we get the most out of service provision, education, training and international medical developments. Louth County Hospital is the regional centre for colposcopy services as part of the cervical cancer screening programme and this guarantees significant activity for the hospital into the future,” Deputy Fitzpatrick said.