Ó Domhnaill welcomes HSE row back on hospital referrals

Donegal Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has received confirmation from senior HSE officials that all Dublin hospitals have been advised not to refuse patient referrals that they would have accepted in previous years.


The HSE has now issued a directive to all hospitals to reverse any decisions made since January 2012 which resulted in the refusal of patient referrals without the written agreement of the Regional Director of Operations in the HSE.


The Donegal Senator made several complaints to the HSE after a number of Dublin Hospitals refused to treat patients who lived outside the hospital catchment area. The Senator also raised the issue on the floor of Seanad Éireann.


Ó Domhnaill said, “The problem came to light after St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin refused to provide specialist treatment to a number of Donegal patients from January this year as these patients lived outside the catchment area.  Previously, these patients would have been accepted for treatment at St Vincent’s.


“I have been informed by HSE management that the Regional Director of Operations for Dublin Mid-Leinster is engaging with the relevant hospitals to reach a final position in relation to individuals living outside a particular hospital’s catchment area. The HSE has also said it’s important to ensure that underfunded activities within the acute hospital system are identified and that more appropriate plans are put in place to ensure accessible care arrangements as close as possible to patient’s place of residence.


 “I welcome this confirmation from the HSE but the matter must be monitored very closely.  The long-established system of referrals for new and existing patients in need of specialist care must remain in place unless or until appropriate alternative arrangements are introduced for patients in all regions.”

Posted: May 30, 2012     |     Categories: Uncategorized