The Cabinet has approved publication of a reform plan for the country's major trauma system, which if implemented would result in two major trauma centres being established in Dublin and Cork.

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the reforms would take seven years to implement and cost around €30m.

A Dublin hospital will be selected as the major trauma centre, while Cork University Hospital will be the major trauma centre for the south.

University Hospital Galway will be considered as a trauma unit, with specialised services within the central trauma network.

Currently, 26 hospitals can receive trauma cases but in future the more complex ones would go to one of the two major centres.

Certain trauma cases would still be seen in other hospitals to be designated as trauma units by the Health Service Executive.

The proposals come from an independent review of trauma services and will likely require a significant number of extra consultants.

The report of the Trauma Steering Group, A Trauma System for Ireland, was approved for publication by Cabinet today, which also approved its vision and objectives.

Around 1,600 patients suffer a major trauma each year - a serious injury after a fall, road traffic accident or other event.

Experts say the reforms could increase survival rates following trauma by about 30%.

Each of the two major trauma centres would treat a minimum number of major trauma patients, in order to maintain a critical mass of specialist expertise.

In addition to the major trauma centre in Dublin, two Dublin hospitals would be selected a trauma units.

The Irish Association of Emergency Medicine said that getting the right patient to the right people with the right skill set would improve survival rates.

Last week, a separate trauma report revealed that one in four trauma patients had to be transferred to another hospital.

Just 8% of trauma patients were seen by a trauma team on arrival at hospital.

Colm Whooley, a Disabilities Advocate and former CEO of Spinal Injuries Ireland, was involved in a motorbike crash in Dublin in 1980.

He suffered spinal cord injuries, which left him with no movement in his legs and he now uses a wheelchair.

Colm was treated in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin before going on to spend nine months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire. He told RTÉ News about the immediate aftermath of the crash.

Plan to speed up hospital planning process approved

The Government has also approved measures to speed up the planning process for hospitals, major roads, big housing developments and data centres.

The Cabinet agreed to prepare legislation that will change the grounds on which people will be able to seek a judicial review of the planning for strategic infrastructure projects.

The legislation will cut the time period for leave to apply for a judicial review from eight to four weeks.

Those seeking such a review will have to demonstrate that they have 'sufficient interest' to instigate it.

Groups that have a standing right to apply for a judicial review will also have to meet certain new requirements.

The detail of the legislation is set to be published soon.

The Government says that, while planning decisions should go through an independent process, it is in the public interest that they are made in a timely manner.