An emergency medicine consultant from Northern Ireland is calling for discussions about a cross-border collaboration on trauma medicine.
Dr Duncan Redmill, who is a specialist in trauma care at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital, will speak at a conference on trauma medicine in Dublin today.
It makes more sense for patients on both sides of the border to have access to the closest trauma centre he told RTE radio’s Morning Ireland.
Time limits are important, he said. Already people injured in Donegal are brought to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry rather than Sligo because it is closer.
When asked if Brexit could jeopardise such arrangements, he said he would “leave politics to the politicians,” but as a clinician, he thought it would be important to have an agreement in place.
Outcomes for accident victims were better if they were brought to a major trauma centre, he said.
Initial plans approved by Cabinet last year, for the establishment of two national trauma centres, one in Cork University Hospital and one in a Dublin hospital, and a network of smaller trauma units across the State have not yet been acted upon.
Dr Redmill said that Northern Ireland commenced such a programme two years ago where specialised trauma units and teams can quickly stabilise patients.
The theme of the service is “the right patient, in the right place at the right time” he explained. The aim is to bring the patient to a major trauma centre where a team of doctors can treat them in a timely fashion.
Border counties could benefit from the North’s integrated trauma service, he said.
Even if there are only two major trauma centres in the Republic, there would be a need for trauma centres in rural areas because of travel times, said Dr Redmill.