A new elective hospital at Merlin Park, a new ambulance base in the city, and the provision of a blood science laboratory are three major projects which are in the pipeline for Galway as part of the Government’s €2 billion HSE capital spending plan.
These key healthcare infrastructure projects, which will also include a new emergency department at University Hospital Galway, will be developed under the three-year strategy.
Local Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton, a former member of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare, welcomed the inclusion of a large number of new and upgraded healthcare facilities for Galway.
Deputy Naughton, who has been at the forefront of the campaign for the provision of a new hospital at Merlin Park since her election to the Dáil in 2016, stated that having been part of the committee that developed Sláintecare, the first long-term strategy for the transformation of the health service, she was “acutely aware” of the legacy deficits in healthcare infrastructure both locally and nationally.
“I am grateful that Minister Simon Harris has taken account of the issues I’ve raised in this regard, and many of those deficits will be addressed under the new capital spending plan.
Merlin Park has been earmarked as a location for one of three new elective hospitals nationwide which are aimed at reducing waiting times and overcrowding. A new modular theatre at the site will be prioritised under the new plan.
Funding has also been allocated for the refurbishment of the 60-bed community nursing unit at Merlin Park. Galway’s two existing cardiac cath labs will be replaced and a third will be developed. The long-awaited new emergency department at UHG will be progressed under the €2 billion spending plan, while a new maternity unit and paediatric unit will be developed over the new ED.”
Building work will commence on a radiation oncology project at UHG, one of three such projects nationwide. The mortuary at UHG will undergo major refurbishment works while a new IT room and water systems have also been approved at the hospital.
Deputy Naughton said that the approval of a large number of local projects in the spending plan was the culmination of “much work” with hospital management, clinicians, the department, and Minister Simon Harris.
“This is an area of utmost priority for me and I am pleased that progress is continuing to improve our local health service and ensure that we have facilities in place to meet the needs of both current and future generations,” she stated.
“I am particularly pleased that UHG is no longer the sole focus of infrastructural investment in Galway, and there is now a realisation that Merlin Park must be developed in order to relieve and improve our hospital services.
“We are beginning to see the development of more healthcare facilities at that location and this will pay dividends for patients in both Merlin Park and UHG,” she concluded.