QUESTION to the Minister for Health (Mr Leo Varadkar, TD)
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 10/12/2014
To ask the Minister for Health if he will ensure that the provision of clinical and laboratory genetic services continue to be provided on a national basis, similar to that as currently provided by the national centre for medical genetics; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
The service for medical genetics in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC) provides services for patients and families in Ireland affected by, or at risk of, a genetic disorder. It comprises three integrated units: a clinical genetics service; a cytogenetics laboratory and a molecular genetics laboratory. The service is under the governance of OLCHC, which has recently made a decision to discontinue the separate identification of the service as the National Centre for Medical Genetics, in the interest of clarity on governance arrangements. I am assured that there has been no reduction in the scope of the services provided.
There have been rapid and progressive developments in genetics and genomic medicine over the past five years, and it is well recognised as one area of medicine that will continue to rapidly develop over coming years. A recently-commissioned review of the genetic services at OLCHC recommended the development of a plan for a National Genetic and Genomic Medicine Network to reflect best international arrangements for the provision of genetic services. This recommendation has been accepted by the HSE and a Steering Group to progress it is currently being established.