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Ir Med J. 2004 Jun;97(6):173-5.

The potential impact on travel times of closure and redistribution of A&E units in Ireland.

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  • 1Department of Public Health & Primary Care, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Adelaide & Meath Hospital, National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland.


Modelling has been used to estimate variations in travel time to Accident & Emergency (A&E) Departments for Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and Road Traffic Accidents (RTA), taking into account three different distributions of A&E departments in the country. We have modelled three scenarios: current, the current distribution of A&E Departments; intermediate, two A&E Units for some Health Boards and one for others; and extreme, one A&E Department for each of the 10 Health Boards. The percentage of travel times that fall within an hour for AMI and RTA for the three scenarios (current, intermediate and extreme) are 85.6, 82.8, 70.0 and 81.8, 85.2, 71.8 percent respectively. While a redistribution of A&E Departments seems inevitable, a sensible modelling approach can be used to plan the new distribution of services to maintain equitable geographic access.

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