Thursday 15th February 2018
Press Statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
Hopes High for New Merlin Park Hospital
Hopes are high with a Government TD that the Government’s Capital Plan, to be announced on Friday, will provide for a new state-of-the-art elective hospital for Galway and the West in Merlin Park. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton, who has led the campaign for a new hospital, has welcomed the outcome of her discussions with the Minister and has every hope that a new facility will be announced on Friday.
“I am very happy to report that my campaign for investment in healthcare infrastructure in Galway is close to success. I am confident of a multi-million euro funding announcement on Friday that will see the building of a large elective hospital, with hundreds of beds, for Galway on the Merlin Park site. What that means in practical terms is that if you have a scheduled operation it will take place in Merlin Park and not the UHG Newcastle campus. It also will mean that day case and endoscopy procedures will, when development is completed, take place in Merlin Park,” said the Galway West TD.
“This will also mean the freeing up of hundreds of beds in UHG and an elimination of waiting on trolleys for those needing emergency care. This will drastically reduce overcrowding and lead to better patient outcomes. It will also, over time, greatly reduce waiting lists for various specialties in Galway,” said Deputy Naughton.
“It has been confirmed to me that any announcement would in no way hinder the Options Appraisal presently underway by the Saolta Group. It has long been my preferred option for a new Acute Hospital to be built in Merlin Park. That option is still live and the design for the new elective hospital in Merlin will allow for that possibility. An announcement on Friday of this nature will be another huge step towards relocating Galway’s main hospital to Merlin Park. This is a phase of a strategy that would eventually see the development of a new acute hospital in Merlin Park. It is part of a broader plan that will be further developed after the options-appraisal process,” Deputy Naughton noted.
“The ultimate decision on the number of beds in this new hospital will be made by the Saolta Hospital Group. However, I am informed that it will require at least a several hundred bed hospital along with ancillary services. It is also envisaged that this new development will include the stand alone orthopaedic unit which was previously announced, together with day case and endoscopy facilities,” the Galway deputy added.
“I am also hopeful that Friday will see the announcement of a new oncology and radiation facility in Galway together with the long awaited Accident & Emergency Department for UHG,” the Deputy noted.
“If my hopes are borne out on Friday, this would amount to the multi-million investment in health infrastructure in the West that I have been calling for since my election. It would also mean that UHG will, in future, no longer be operating at crisis levels and that patients in Galway and the West will have the dignity they deserve. While nobody will deny that problems exist at present, at least we can hopefully look forward to a much better service, “added Deputy Naughton.