HSE to send patients North to cut waiting lists
Health Minister Leo Varadkar says he may use the health service in the North to help reduce waiting lists here.
The minister was speaking in Derry where a new radiology unit costing £66.1m (€88m) is under construction.
The HSE has paid €19m towards the unit which will treat 90pc of cancer sufferers from Co Donegal, saving 385 patients a year from travelling to Dublin or Galway for treatment.
Mr Varadkar and his northern counterpart, Jim Wells, from the DUP, also revealed they may share services at the new €100m Erne Hospital in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
"It has been used (health services in the North) a little bit. I have mandated the HSE to make sure that no one is waiting more than 18 months by the end of June and no more than 15 months by the end of this year," said the minister.
"Most of that we can do by just increasing capacity and using up unused capacity in other areas of the Republic, but we are open to using both private hospitals and hospitals in the North where it makes sense and where the value is right," he said.