The west of Ireland is beginning to feel the benefits of a new private emergency unit which opened recently in Galway.
The Galway Clinic Emergency and Minor Injuries Unit is now operating six days a week and is taking some of the strain off the public sector.
"This new concept of a private emergency room is a great new advance," said William Joyce, a consultant surgeon attached to the clinic.
"It should not work in opposition to a public hospital, however, it should complement already overstretched A&E departments in our public hospitals where people are better streamlined by using facilities such as the Galway Clinic," he told the Irish Medical News.
The new unit provides a same-day referral service for acute medical, surgical and trauma-related incidents and is staffed by consultants specialising in a range of fields.
Mr Joyce added: "As further private institutions are opened around the country, fully-equipped emergency rooms in these hospitals will be developed and this probably in the long-term will ease the burden on our own public A&E departments."
Independent advice on private healthcare