Taoiseach opens €15m facelift at Bon Secours

Your country needs you — An Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured at the opening of the expansion of the Bon Secours Hospital in Galway.
Photograph by Aengus McMahon

Your country needs you — An Taoiseach Enda Kenny pictured at the opening of the expansion of the Bon Secours Hospital in Galway. Photograph by Aengus McMahon

More jobs are to be created at the Bon Secours Hospital due to the proposed addition of new services, the official opening of the new €15 million expansion of facilities at the Renmore hospital was told recently.

The private hospital currently employs 410 people and it is anticipated that this will increase further with the full utilisation of the phase two development and plans to provide extra services.

The phase two development, which was officially opened by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, significantly improves the availability and quality of inpatient accommodation and provides the most modern suite of physiotherapy facilities in the region, according to the hospital.

The additional inpatient capacity of 50 beds complements the surgical facilities completed in phase one and additional services now being pursued include day oncology services, enhanced breast diagnostic services, respiratory medicine, interventional radiology and cardiology, a new MRI facility within the hospital and expansion of the consultants clinic.

Speaking at the opening Deputy Kenny said the new development was an important milestone and greatly enhances the patient experience at the hospital. He added it will assist in providing healthcare to the highest standard.

He commended the hospital’s chief executive Gerry Burke and his team for having the courage and foresight to pursue the expansion in the face of the particularly adverse local and global financial conditions which have existed for the past few years.

“This development will not only significantly enhance the provision of hospital services but will provide an important economic boost to the west.”

He stated that the public health services and the Bon Secours Hospitals have a long relationship.

“The Bon Secours Hospital Galway has been treating National Treatment Purchase Fund patients since 2002. The National Treatment Purchase Fund was established in order to tackle the considerable amounts of time that people [public patients] were waiting for medical treatment. For a number of years the NTPF was very successful in reducing these numbers. However, in recent times the trend has been moving upwards. This indicates that the causes of waiting lists are embedded throughout the hospital system and need to be dealt with in a systematic and comprehensive way.

“This Government has an ambitious programme of health service reforms which includes institutional reforms which will make health care providers truly accountable for delivering patient centred care. In particular, the Government is determined to address the issues which cause unacceptable delays in patients receiving treatment in our hospitals. There is a need to embed performance management in the system to sustain shorter waiting times.”

Pat Lyons, the group chief executive of the Bon Secours Health System, said when it acquired the Galway hospital in 1999, known then as Galvia, it had 66 beds with 150 staff and treated 8,000 patients per annum.

“We immediately set about evaluating a number of development options and in 2004 decided to invest €25 million in theatres, day ward and diagnostic capacity. In tandem with this development plan the consultant medical staff committed to purchasing 17 clinics on site which provided a very important foundation for the sustainability of the hospital by enabling future volume growth.

“Activity levels have grown substantially as a result of the investment programme and the hospital now employs over 400 staff, has a complement of 120 beds and will treat 20,000 patients in 2012.

“As a Not For Profit healthcare group, with hospitals located also in Cork, Dublin and Tralee, we have consistently pursued an investment programme that has focused on organic growth, ensuring facilities and accommodation are continuously updated and modernised.”

Gerry Burke, the chief executive of the Bon Secours Galway - which has a primary catchment area of Galway, Mayo, Clare and Roscommon - outlined that doctors, management and staff are delighted with the new development which allows the hospital to meet the needs of its patients for the future.

“This investment confirms the commitment of Bon Secours to healthcare delivery in Galway and the west.”

Sr Goretti Spillane, the chairperson of the board of Bon Secours Health System, said since 1824 the Bon Secours Sisters have brought compassion, healing and liberation to those it serves, caring for the sick and the dying in a variety of settings.”

She stated the sisters had historical links with the west of Ireland. “In 1885 we were invited to nurse the sick and poor in the Tuam area. Later in 1944 we acquired a residence at the ‘Grove’ and converted it into a small nursing home. This expanded over the years to become a medical/surgical hospital until it closed in 2002 when the sisters relocated to Knock and Galway.

“Community ties are very important to us ….. wherever we are. It is our wish that we are an integral part of the community, listening to the people and their leaders and being available to help where possible.”

The Bon Secours Hospital Galway is part of Bon Secours Health System, the largest independent private healthcare provider in Ireland employing more than 2,500 professional and support staff. In addition to Galway, it also has facilities in Cork, Dublin and Tralee.

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