A "ridiculous situation" is how a Galway TD has characterised the "consistent delays in building a new health centre" on Inishbofin island, which has seen progress on the "urgently needed" facility halted for nearly a decade.
This is the view of Galway West TD and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Island Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív, who has slammed the consistent delays in building a new health centre on the Connemara island.
Plans for the proposed health centre were at an advanced stage some eight years ago, but since then the project has been "effectively stalled" according to Dep Ó Cuív, despite the HSE itself acknowledging that a new centre is needed.
The TD says the current health facility "is no longer fit for purpose" and that a new premises is "urgently needed", with the island being home to 160 people, and also being "an extremely popular tourist destination".
The site where the proposed new health centre and nurse's residence was to be located has since been deemed unsuitable. According to the HSE, the next action is to carry out an environmental assessment and planning assessment of local authority sites near the school on Inishbofin. "We are now effectively back at square one," said Dep Ó Cuív. "This is a ridiculous situation and will further push out the timeline for the construction of these buildings."
Dep Ó Cúiv says the "inability to provide necessary facilities" within a reasonable time-span is "bedevilling the provision of services that are urgently required" and is "frustrating islanders and visitors alike". He is now calling on the relevant authorities to see if there is a more "effective and speedy way of carrying out small developments like this". He added he would continue to press the Health Minister, Simon Harris, and the HSE on this issue to ensure "a fully functioning and suitable health centre is secured for the island”.