Government set to confirm major reorganisation of hospitals

Government set to confirm major reorganisation of hospitals
Waterford Regional Hospital

The Cabinet will sign off this morning on the reorganisation of the country's hospitals into six regional groupings.

Health Minister James Reilly said that the move will be the biggest reform of the hospital system since the foundation of the state.

The Higgins Report is to be published today after being first submitted to the Health Minister in February.

Minister Reilly said that the fact it is to be published today is because of his determination to implement it and not let it "gather dust".

The plan involves all 49 hospitals in six groupings. Each will have an academic link to a university and contain at least one teaching hospital.

Minister James Reilly said that this is the biggest ever reorganisation of hospitals and will deliver better and safer and cost effective services for patients.

In the South East, Waterford Regional Hospital is to be grouped with Cork, but it will keep some services such as cancer and trauma. It will be renamed as Waterford University Hospital.

There is concern in Dublin where the Mater and Rotunda hospitals share some 18 consultants and are just hundreds of metres apart, but are to be in different groupings.

Minister Reilly will announce the plan in full this afternoon.

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