The new hospital for Galway this week took a step closer to becoming a reality. A preliminary business case for the hospital will be completed by the end of the month, paving the way for the project to proceed to the design, planning, and procurement stage.
The preliminary business case is being finalised in accordance with the Public Spending Code. For the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, and Fine Gael Galway West TD, Hildegarde Naughton, the new hospital will be "the most significant investment in regional healthcare infrastructure in more than half a century".
An options appraisal recommended the new hospital should carry out a high volume of low-to medium-complexity surgeries
Minister Naughton, who has led the campaign for the new hospital, said it will "substantially improve access and standards of care available to people in the west".
A process is also underway to decide the scope of procedures that will be performed at the new elective hospital facility, and what clinical facilities will be required. The Elective Hospitals Oversight Group is currently considering all these matters.
Minister Naughton, who first raised the idea of a new hospital in 2016, is also due to hold a meeting with the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, and representatives of Saolta University Healthcare Group, to discuss progress on the project.
Positive impact on UHG
An options appraisal, commissioned by former health minister, Simon Harris, at the request of Minister Naughton, recommended that the new, 200 bed, hospital should carry out a high volume of low-to medium-complexity surgeries.
The report said this would “significantly improve” patient access to elective care, reduce waiting lists, and free up capacity at UHG for the treatment of emergency and acute patients.
The current FF-FG-Greens coalition’s Programme for Government, which was negotiated by an FG team that included Minister Naughton, has also committed to the development of the new elective hospital in Galway. “Huge credit is due Pat Nash and the Saolta Group," said Minister Naughton, "for their work on the options appraisal and the broader project."