The PPP contracts to build new Primary Care Centres should include the flexibility to be amended to include new health facilities to meet demand for services, this week’s meeting of the Regional Health Forum was told.
Replying to questions from Cllr Donogh Killilea regarding the extra planned services proposed for the Primary Care Unit in Tuam, the forum heard that Tuam Diagnostic Service is being developed in conjunction with Portiuncula University Hospital Ballinasloe, the Saolta Group, Primary Care Services Community Healthcare West and HSE Estates.
It is also to introduce an ulstrasound service later this year, but the HSE is in negotiations regarding the extra cost of this service. They are talking to PPPCo, who are the owners of the Tuam Primary Care Centre regarding what additional payment will be needed to accommodate this service in the centre.
“Once off funding has been approved by Primary Care Strategy and planning for development of a diagnostics area in Tuam. On 1st September 2020 a meeting took place to agree the preferred option. HSE Estates are preparing for the next stage which will be direct consultation with PPPCo. who are the owners of Tuam PCC,” the meeting was told by Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare West.
Joe Hoare of HSE Estates West said that when the 14 Primary Care Centres were initially built, they did not need diagnostic facilties, but that this has chanegd in the interim.
“They will need to be looked at on an individual basis. In the case of Tuam, the diagnostics unit has to go into the PPP building. In most cases, however, the diagnostic facilites will not be needed.
“We have to look at the contract and go through the process. I am optimistic that the company will play ball and will do it at a reasonable cost. They have to look at in terms of the maintenance of the additionall facility,” he said.
Cllr Killilea said that he welcomed that and hoped that an x-ray diagnostic facility would follow suit soon.
“When those contracts were drawn up, it was perhaps an oversight that we would have to pay for additional facilities if they were needed. We should have contracts that are flexible to allow us to add on and build if we need,” he said, adding that it is a significant annoiuncement that the ultrasound facility will go ahead.