The Regional Hospital in Mullingar is to get a new paediatric unit, it was revealed this week.
The existing paediatric assessment unit is contained within the emergency department of the hospital, and is due to be included in the upgrade and remodelling of this department.
According to the HSE this will start next month and will be finished by July 2015, and is expected to cost €5m.
“To allow works to proceed the provision of a suitable temporary accommodation adjacent to the hospital, appropriately fitted out, will be required for the period of construction. This will require a planning application,” said James Conway, assistant director of the Midland group of hospitals.
“The contract will also include cosmetic and general works in the concourse, and will include modifications to the shop, café, security office, and reception. As the concourse forms part of the main entrance to the hospital and will be in use, or in partial use throughout, it is expected the work will be done on a phased basis, and out-of-hours. Occupation and handover of these areas will also be on a phased basis,” he added.
“In terms of timelines, it is hoped the work on the emergency department will be completed in July 2015, and the works on the main concourse by October 2015,” he said.
The paediatric unit dealt with 5,568 patients through the emergency department, while another 5,428 were dealt with as outpatients.
In an issue related to this department, it was revealed at the same meeting that collection rates within the Mid Leinster hospital group for the €100 A&E charge is at 75 per cent, and the use of debt collection agencies was not ruled out.
“Hospitals in the region have procedures in place for the collection of all unpaid charges [and] these include telephone calls, letters and, if necessary, the use of debt collection agencies,” said Michael O’Keefe, the general manager of HSE finance.