A three-story extension to University Hospital Galway, which will contain 75 beds, is due to start construction early next year, but calls have been made for affected patients to be accommodated in Merlin Park during the buiulding phase.
The extension, scheduled to begin in January/February, is to UHG's St Rita’s ward, and represents a 58 bed increase for the currently 17-bed ward, which caters for elderly patients and those who have suffered from stroke. The new beds will be located in individual en suite rooms.
News of the development has been welcomed by Labour Galway West TD Derek Nolan, who said it will “go some way towards easing overcrowding”. However he said the period between construction and completion must be “managed properly”
“It is crucial that capacity is brought on-stream elsewhere to manage the temporary reduction in bed numbers,” he said. “Hospital occupancy is very high so any reduction in numbers will have an impact. It is my view that Merlin Park should be used to meet that additional need.”
He also said it was “important that the excellent care and expertise” given by nurses and staff in St Rita’s “is not lost” during the construction phase.