A report on the Delivery of Health Services to rural populations in Britain and Ireland has found that acute hospitals backed up by smaller cottage hospitals is the best way forward.
The report was carried out by the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body to find a solution to the health crisis facing rural communities.
Yesterday, at its meeting in West Cork, the group decided to forward the report to the British and Irish ministers for health with a recommendation that it be implemented.
The study of the hospital services in the Isle of Man revealed that they had invested £117 million in developing a medical service which included:
A 314-bed acute hospital which had all specialities, except neurology this was available in Liverpool, a 45-minute helicopter journey away.
24 consultants and six operating theatres.
The back-up of "cottage" or smaller hospitals which dealt with older people and other day and residential facilities.
Dr Cowley said this was a good model for Irish healthcare because it was a service that was adequately resourced and no one had to travel more than 20 miles to get to an acute hospital.
But the Hanly Report was proposing that we take away local services and centralise all the major care in centres of excellence that could be 120 miles away for many rural patients living in the west, said Dr Cowley.