HSE agrees assessment unit at Kerry General needs extending

The health service says it accepts that the medical assessment unit at Kerry General must be extended to a seven day 24 hour service. However plans to extend it appear to be stuck between the various agencies. Early this year the southern region of the HSE made a request for funding. The Department of Health says it`s a decision of the HSE, and The Southern Region says it`s an issue for the executive in Dublin.The Medical Assessment Unit gives priority to gp patients who may not necessarilary need admission to hospital. It was also designed to assist in managing demand for beds. At the moment it’s open from 9-5 from Monday to Friday. The southern region of the HSE says it is necessary to extend the unit to fulfil its true potential but they are waiting on the go ahead from the health service executive nationally.A submission was made for funding early in the year but so far no decision has been reached. In addition the ban on recruitment would have to be lifted as extra staff will be required to run the unit. Earlier this week minister of state Tim O Malley told the Dail it`s a decision of the Health Service Executive who are ultimately funded by the department.