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Children's health review timescale cause for concern - Mary Lou McDonald

10 January, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today raised her concerns regarding a review of paediatric services in the state and questioned what impact the review would have on existing children's services at the Temple Street Hospital in central Dublin.

Ms McDonald made her comments as it emerged that 180,000 euros would be paid to a team of health consultants for five weeks work to review paediatric services in hospitals in the 26 counties.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"The Health Services' Executive (HSE) review on paediatric services is due to be completed by the end of January 2006, and the company conducting the review was informed on December 23rd 2005 that it had received the contract. Given the Christmas break, it is safe to assume that the company in question will have approximately four weeks to conduct its work. Due to the important nature of their work, I want to query why such an unrealistic timescale has been framed?

"Many people in Dublin will view the short consultation review as an exercise to cover the Department of Health's back. There is a major concern in central Dublin that paediatric services will be moved from the Temple Street Hospital to a new green-field site. Sinn Féin will oppose any such moves and is committed to ensuring the continuation of a fully functioning hospital with tertiary paediatric services." ENDS

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