| 4.5°C Dublin

Scandal of €9m X-ray machine on scrapheap

IT COST €500,000 to buy and €9m to install -- but an X-ray machine at a Dublin clinic may never be used, the Herald can reveal.

The HSE has admitted the scanner, installed in the Ballymun Health Centre six years ago will continue to gather dust for the foreseeable future.

The machine cost a staggering €9m to install and is estimated to be worth around €500,000.

Although the technology was first installed in 2006, the HSE has revealed it decided in recent days not to "invest further in the X-ray facility".

The decision has sparked a furious response from both Government and Opposition TDs in the constituency.

Sources have admitted the blunder has caused "serious frustration" among staff at the clinic.

"It's a particular blow to the staff of the centre -- they want to see this used. It's there waiting to go," a source said.

Patients who visit the centre are now often referred to crowded accident and emergency departments.


The situation has been dubbed a "fiasco" by local representatives today.

Labour TD for Dublin North West John Lyons said: "This is just another example from the litany of situations where equipment has been purchased and the funding to run the service has not been provided in tandem.

"It's ironic that equipment such as this X-ray machine was purchased when the economy was in a better position, but still there was a lack of joined-up thinking to fund the staff needed to use the equipment.

"This kind of thing is not acceptable."

Sinn Fein TD Dessie Ellis also dubbed the situation a "fiasco".

"The people of Ballymun and North Dublin deserve better."

In a statement the HSE said it would not be "prudent" to invest in the facility.

"Following wide consultation with relevant clinicians regarding the X-ray machine which was installed as part of the initial fit out it has been decided that in the current economic climate and with reduced resources, it would not be prudent to invest further in the facility."