Thursday, 5th September 2019
Press statement by Hildegarde Naughton TD
Fine Gael, Galway West and South Mayo
A number of key healthcare infrastructure projects in Galway have been included in the Government’s new €2 billion HSE capital spending plan, which will see them progress under the three-year strategy.
The projects include a new elective hospital at Merlin Park, a new emergency department at University Hospital Galway (UHG), a new ambulance base in Galway city, and the development of a blood science laboratory.
The inclusion of a large number of new and upgraded healthcare facilities for Galway was welcomed by local Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton, who was a member of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare.
Investment in healthcare has been a central tenet of Deputy Naughton’s work since her election to the Dáil in 2016, and she has led the campaign for the development of a new hospital at Merlin Park.
“Having been part of the committee that developed Sláintecare, our first long-term strategy for the transformation of our health service, I am acutely aware of the legacy deficits in healthcare infrastructure that exist both locally and nationally,” she said.
“I am grateful that Minister Simon Harris has taken account of the issues I’ve raised in this regard, and many of those deficits will be addressed under the new capital spending plan.”
Merlin Park has been earmarked as a location for one of three new elective hospitals nationwide, which are aimed at reducing waiting times and overcrowding. A new modular theatre at the site will be prioritised under the new plan.
Funding has also been allocated for the refurbishment of the 60-bed community nursing unit at Merlin Park. Galway’s two existing cardiac cath labs will be replaced, and a third will be developed.
The long-awaited new emergency department at UHG will be progressed under the €2 billion spending plan, while a new maternity unit and paediatric unit will be developed over the new ED.
Building work will commence on a radiation oncology project at GUH – one of three such projects nationwide. The mortuary at UHG will undergo major refurbishment works, while new a new IT room and water systems have also been approved at the hospitaal.
Deputy Naughton said that the approval of a large number of local projects in the spending plan was the culmination of much work with hospital management, clinicians, the department, and Minister Simon Harris.
“This is an area of utmost priority for me, and I am pleased that progress is continuing to improve our local health service and ensure that we have facilities in place to meet the needs of both current and future generations,” she stated.
“I am particularly pleased that UHG is no longer the sole focus of infrastructural investment in Galway, and there is now a realisation that Merlin Park must be developed in order to relieve and improve our hospital services.
“We are beginning to see the development of more healthcare facilities at that location, and this will pay dividends for patients in both Merlin Park and UHG,” explained the Fine Gael TD.