Funding for the planning and design of the new emergency department for UHG will be provided in the HSE’s Capital Budget for 2017. The HSE National Capital Committee this week approved the capital funding for the much-needed development.
Funding was confirmed yesterday by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, who also noted that University Hospital Galway registered the third highest volume of ED attendances nationally during the month of October, and ED attendances in Galway rose by one per cent this year to date - albeit there was a drop in the 8am trolley numbers.
The present department was designed in the 1950s and upgraded in the 1990s but is now considered "inadequate" to meet contemporary needs. The confirmation of the new funding was welcomed by Fine Gael Galway East TD and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Seán Kyne.
“A new emergency department for UHG is essential and is a top priority given its importance for improving facilities for the people who need the hospital’s services now," he said. "The approval is a major step forward."
Meanwhile, the new 75 single en suite room ward block at UHG is due to open in the coming weeks. Minister Harris also confirmed that UHG management is considering keeping one of the existing hospital wards in use during the winter. This will provide an immediate extra 30 beds for the hospital. Said Dep Kyne: "This will relieve pressure and improve conditions for patients and staff. Other wards at UHG will be refurbished during this time.”