The delay in submitting a planning application for the new emergency department at UHG is "unacceptable", especially as the current department is "not fit for purpose".
This is the view of Government Chief Whip and Fine Gael Galway West TD, Seán Kyne, who has expressed concerns regarding a decision to postpone seeking planning permission until after the completion of an “options appraisal” report. Options appraisal is a technique for analysing the costs and benefits, and the identification of key objectives.
According to Minister Kyne, there is "almost universal acceptance" of the need for a new ED in Galway, and the plans for the proposed facility - a multi-storey building comprising maternity healthcare facilities and ED - are finalised. However, he said the factors preventing the Saolta Hospital Group from submitting the plans are a cause for concern.
“It is unacceptable and unthinkable that planning permission for the new ED, the design of which is finalised, has not yet been submitted and is being held up by a consultant’s report on healthcare facilities in Galway," he said. “The current emergency department is neither an appropriate facility for the patients nor the staff and was described as not fit for purpose by former taoiseach, Enda Kenny. I know Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Health Simon Harris are both of the same view and are anxious to make progress on the project."
Meanwhile, the issue of the provision of a bus corridor on the UHG site has been resolved with a final meeting scheduled between UHG and the Galway City Council this week. Minister Kyne says he understands that any proposed transport corridor will not impact on the ED site.