The tender for the new 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe, will be advertised from today, September 30, local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, has confirmed.
The project was due to go to tender earlier this year but is now expected to be advertised on the e-Tenders website today.
Deputy Naughten was informed that the delay had been “primarily due to design development and the carrying out of due diligence of all tender documents”.
The Saolta Group also confirmed that enabling works for the project had allowed a number of onsite issues to be dealt with and that the natural gas and electrical network had been upgraded while the medical gas infrastructure had also been modified and upgraded.
“After I secured the commitment for the ward block development at Portiuncula Hospital from Health Minister Simon Harris there have been a number of delays in the project. It is imperative that this project is now given the priority it deserves within the HSE and that contactors are appointed ASAP,” Deputy Naughten stated.
One in five local children in supersized classes
Meanwhile, the fact that some children are still in classes of 30 pupils or more means many of them are being subjected to huge educational disadvantage which has negative, long-term consequences, Deputy Naughten asserted this week.
“If you spread the marmalade too thin on a slice of toast, you won’t even taste it. That’s effectively what we are doing with teaching resources in supersized classes across our country.
“In these instances, both weaker and stronger pupils lose out. This causes disruption, and as a result has an impact on the whole class.
“While there has been an improvement in the pupil teacher ratio due to the investment that I, along with others, secured during the term of the last Government, we still have up to 1 in 5 classes of 30 or more.
“My core objective is to ensure that every child leaving primary school can read & write. Presently one in ten children cannot do that.
“The investment needs to be put into primary education, including the reduction in large classes, starting with younger children to ensure that every child can fully participate, to the best of their ability in our society.
“No child should be in a class of more than 30 pupils and I fully support the need to reduce class sizes to achieve that core objective of ensuring that every child can read and write when they leave primary school.
“The failure to tackle supersized classes in primary schools means that many children are being subjected to a huge educational disadvantage which has negative, long-term consequences,” Deputy Naughten concluded.