The contract for the new 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, will be awarded to the successful contractor in early 2022, local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, has confirmed.
The project went to tender last month with the HSE expecting to receive tenders in December so the contract for construction can be awarded in early 2022.
Deputy Naughten also secured confirmation that provision has been made both in terms of groundworks and the design of the new 50-bed ward block, for a further 50 bed ward block extension at a future date.
Commenting on the response from the HSE Deputy Naughten expressed his frustration regarding the slow progress of the construction project.
“It has been frustratingly slow in progressing this construction project since I secured the commitment for the ward block development at Portiuncula Hospital from Health Minister Simon Harris in 2018.
“We have been told that these delays were in part ‘due to design development and the carrying out of due diligence of all tender documents’, but the fact remains that this project should have been completed in advance of this winter.
“The delay has led to serious overcrowding at Portiuncula, which has been compounded by the loss of 10% of its beds due to bed closures to meet Covid requirements.
“This time last year, to address this shortfall, the Department of Health approved Covid funding to provide 12 new isolation beds at Portiuncula which were to be delivered by last April, but these now won’t be available until June 2022.
“It is completely unacceptable that vital projects which are needed to ensure patients get the care they need are being continually delayed at Portiuncula Hospital, which is adding to the already unacceptable pressure faced by staff on a daily basis,” Deputy Naughten concluded.