The provision of a new emergency department at UHG is the number one priority of the Saolta University Health Care Group.
That is according to Ann Cosgrove, the chief operating officer of the group, that runs the hospital.
Replying to a question from Headford county councillor Mary Hoade regarding the ongoing overcrowding at the ED and plans for a new department, she said an updated cost benefit analysis was prepared and completed in April 2016. It was submitted to the National HSE Estates.
Speaking at a meeting of the HSE West’s regional health forum at Merlin Park Hospital she added that there was a reference in the “Programme for a Partnership Government” published on May 11 that the Government is committed to continued capital investment in EDs.
“It made a specific reference to a new ED for Galway hospital with a view to providing funding for construction as part of the 2017 capital plan review.”
She stressed that a replacement emergency department for UHG was the top priority for the Saolta hospital group.
Cllr Hoade outlined she had been in the ED on Monday from 6pm until 4am on Tuesday morning. She said the staff were excellent but they were working in “terrible” conditions.
She stated she would love if the Minister for Health would visit the facility and observe the conditions there. She wondered if the Department of Health had given any timeframe for the provision of the new facility.
Ann Cosgrove stated she was sorry Cllr Hoade had to spend so long at the emergency department. She said she regretted that anybody had to spent an extended period there. She pointed out that it was “exceptionally” busy on Monday with 242 people attending the facility over a 24 hour period.