Galway’s new public hospital will provide an additional 200 beds and boost in-patient capacity at Galway University Hospital by around 30 percent, it has been confirmed.
The decision to build a new elective hospital in Galway was recently revealed in the Government’s capital plan. It is understood that the facility will be developed on the grounds of Merlin Park Hospital.
Plans are at an early stage, but Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton has confirmed that the new hospital contains a total of 200 new beds, which will represent an increase of 30 percent on the current in-patient capacity of UHG and Merlin Park.
Deputy Naughton has led the campaign for a new hospital in Galway since her election to the Dáil in 2016. The inclusion of the facility in the Government’s €10.9-billion spending plan last month was a major step in that campaign.
“I’ve continued to work with Minister Simon Harris and officials in the Department of Health since the announcement of Galway’s new elective hospital last month, and I can confirm from these discussions that the new facility will provide a total of 200 new beds,” said Deputy Naughton.
“Its inclusion in the Government’s capital plan is most welcome, but it is not the end of this process. That plan must translate to action, and I am now committed to ensuring that construction of the new hospital begins as quickly as possible.
“Happily, I know that Minister Harris is equally committed to that same goal, so I am confident that there will be no undue delay in moving forward with this plan and delivering this facility, which is urgently needed to tackle our longstanding issues with overcrowding and waiting lists,” said the Galway West TD.
It is envisaged that the new elective hospital will accommodate all scheduled procedures, freeing up capacity at UHG for trauma and emergency cases. It is part of the most significant investment in healthcare infrastructure in a generation, according to Deputy Naughton.
“In addition to the allocation of funding for the development of an elective facility in Galway, Minister Harris has also provided €1 million for an options appraisal in respect of proposals to build a new acute hospital at Merlin Park. This is currently underway,” she said.
A new adult mental-health unit, an ambulance base, and emergency department are also among new facilities in the pipeline for Galway as part of a radical overhaul of the region’s health infrastructure.
The new elective hospital is the most significant single project announced to date, however, and Deputy Naughton said that she would be continuing to work with the minister, department and local hospital management to progress the plans.
“It’s difficult to put a precise timeline on a project at such an early stage of planning, but people should be absolutely clear: This is not some vague idea for the long term. It is real, it is imminent, and it will accrue major benefits for both this generation and future generations of Galwegians,” said the Fine Gael TD.