Dr James Reilly the new Minister for Health announced that a number of hospitals due to close or to be ‘reconfigured’ (whatever that means!) under the Harney regime would be put on hold pending review of the original decision on a case by case basis.
Terence Flanagan TD put down a Dail question as to whether St Luke’s is one of the hospitals on the hold for review list but the official reply provided does not answer the question. He put in the question again, and got the same waffle.
Is this a civil servant just providing the same waffle regardless of the actual question when TDs raise parliamentary questions about St Luke’s – or is this FG betraying St Luke’s despite support for the campaign before the election?
Below the ‘reply’ received by Deputy Flanagan -
by Deputy Terence Flanagan
* To ask the Minister for Health and Children if the phasing out and closure of St. Luke’s Cancer Hospital is one of the projects he has put on hold pending review; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Terence Flanagan T.D.
St Luke’s Hospital, which provides only radiation oncology services, was subsumed into the Health Service Executive under the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2010 (No. 18 of 2010). Radiation oncology services will continue at St Luke’s until at least 2015, when further radiation oncology capacity will be available at Beaumont and St James’s. This 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. It is also in line with best international practice.
The existing radiotherapy centre at St Luke’s, plus the new centres at Beaumont and St James’s Hospitals, have together become the St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network with some staff and resources now transferred from St Luke’s to the new centres. The first patients were seen at Beaumont on 28 March, while St James’s is due to begin seeing patients this month.
In relation to the future use of the St Luke’s site I can confirm that the legislation provides for the future use of the site as a health facility and states that the HSE may not sell or dispose of St Luke’s or any land on the site, without my consent.