Press Release

Minister for Health and Children expresses surprise at the reports in relation to hospital developments in the North Eastern Health Board

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr. Micheál Martin TD, today (26 July 2001) expressed surprise at the newspaper report that no capital development projects would start this year in the North Eastern Health Board. The NEHB has been notified of funding in the region of £18 million for capital expenditure for this year as part of the National Development Plan.

Minister Martin said that the report in yesterday´s Irish Times which purported to quote the Chief Executive Officer of the Board was inaccurate and misleading in a number of respects.

He confirmed that it was disingenuous to say that the Department has not yet made its annual allocation to the Board. The NEHB like all other health boards have not only been notified of this year´s capital funding, but also for the years 2002-2006, the end of the National Development Plan; this year´s figures were notified to the Board last February by my Department.

It was not true to say that the NEHB had had proposals with the Department for the appointment of architects for all five acute hospital sites since January. In fact, no such proposals have yet been received by the Department.

“My Department is working closely with the NEHB and I have no doubt that this relationship is bringing a positive influence on the developments” said the Minister, “and I am quite certain it will lead to a professional and competent development of acute services in the north east with no delays being generated by my Department”.