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Hospitals get pounds 25m to ease winter woes.

HEALTH Minister Micheal Martin is to spend an extra pounds 25 million in a bid to stave off a crisis in the health service this winter.

The money will be used to cope with the expected seasonal upsurge in admissions.

Announcing the plan, the minister said: "The package is being targeted at a number of key areas including approval to recruit 25 additional accident emergency consultants.

"There will also be an extra 15 consultant anaesthetists and at least 500 additional nursing home places for patients who have completed the acute phase of treatment.

"There will also be provision for additional aids and supports for older persons.

"Hospitals providing accident and emergency services experience a surge in admissions during the winter months.

"This impacts significantly on the capacity of the acute hospital sector to provide sufficient acute beds for patients requiring admission.

"The appointment of additional consultants is designed to ensure early clinical intervention at a senior level, reduce waiting times and thus improve patient access."

The minister also announced that a new acute assessment unit would be built at St James' Hospital in Dublin.
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Author:Flanagan, Pat
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 23, 2000
Words:184
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