Options appraisal backs 200-bed Merlin Park hospital plan

An independent options appraisal has recommended the development of a new 200-bed elective hospital at Merlin Park, clearing the way for preparatory works to commence on the project next year.

Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton, who has led the campaign for a new hospital in Galway, said that the facility would be the largest investment in the region’s healthcare infrastructure since UHG opened in 1956.

Public representatives will be briefed on the findings of the options appraisal by hospital management in Dublin next week, at a meeting organised by Deputy Naughton.

The options appraisal was a full review of hospital services in the region and involved a comprehensive study of present and future needs. The appraisal was conducted by independent consultants, who were tasked with planning for the future of the region’s healthcare services. It was sanctioned by Health Minister Simon Harris, after a request by Deputy Naughton, as an integral step towards the development of a new hospital.

The appraisal has recommended Merlin Park as the location of the new facility, and the Saolta University Healthcare Group has accepted this recommendation. The development of a new hospital at Merlin Park has been a keystone priority of Deputy Naughton’s since her election to the Dáil in 2016. She has since garnered the support of clinicians and hospital management for the proposal.

“I’m extremely pleased that the Saolta Group has agreed that Merlin Park is the optimal site for a new hospital for Galway and the West. It has been clear to me for some time that the UHG site was no longer capable of meaningful expansion,” she said.

“I ensured that a new elective hospital for Galway was included in the Government’s capital plan and all that remained was for the site to be identified,” explained Deputy Naughton, who was a member of the Oireachtas Committee for the Future of Healthcare.


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