Healthcare in Tuam and East Galway has received a major boost with the announcement of the Government’s HSE capital spending plan worth just over €2 billion nationally.
This is a game-changer for healthcare in Galway East.
The key projects getting the go-ahead are the Mental Health Day Hospital at the old Grove Hospital site in Tuam and the new Community Nursing Unit to replace existing facilities at Áras Mhuire in Tuam.
Funding has also been made available for the new 50-bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe and a new modular theatre for Orthopaedic surgery at Merlin Park Hospital, Galway.
Additional spending has been allocated to progress the new A and E unit at University Hospital Galway with maternity and paediatric units over the emergency department, along with radiation oncology facilities.
The approvals for Tuam will complete a €35 million public investment in the town’s health campus.
The Community Mental Health Day Hospital at the old Grove Hospital site will include a unit for people with disabilities.
The Minister for Health Simon Harris and the Minister for Disability Issues Finian McGrath inspected the Grove site with me and I discussed the plan with the Taoiseach when he visited me in Tuam.
The project has been developed, planning is in place and it is ready to go to tender. We will be bringing a derelict but iconic building back into use in the heart of town. It will provide a first class health facility for Tuam and the surrounding areas.
The second project that is ready to go in Tuam is the new 50-bed community nursing unit, for which the late Joe O’Toole gave a €7 million donation.
The HSE will be providing the necessary additional funding and planning permission has been lodged. The facility, which will include a 10-bed special care unit, will replace the existing Áras Mhuire Home, which occupies a building deemed no longer fit for purpose by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).
I am delighted that plans for a 50-bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe are included in the capital spending plan.
The unit will mean more surgeries being available in East Galway. This will benefit the whole county with pressure being taken off UHG, something which is urgently needed.
The approval for the modular theatre at Merlin Park Hospital is also significant and when completed, it should bring an end to unacceptable waiting times for orthopaedic procedures.
Some plans are at different stages of development but the Tuam Community Nursing Unit and the Mental Health unit at the Grove, along with Portiuncula Hospital’s new 50-bed unit and the modular theatre at Merlin Park are now fully funded and ready to go.
Projects being progressed in the Galway/Roscommon area include:
New Emergency Department. This project includes the provision of a new Maternity Unit & Paediatric units over the Emergency Department;
Modular theatre at Merlin Park theatre;
Blood science Laboratory;
New Ambulance base – Galway city;
The commencement of building work of a Radiation Oncology Project at Galway University Hospital;
Replacement of two cardiac cath labs and development of the third Cath Laboratory;
Upgrade/replacement of water system (GUH) Provision of a new IT room;
Completion of two new houses for those with an intellectual disability in Ballinasloe;
Portiuncula – Ward block, Fire Safety Works and Lift Replacement Programme;
Tuam Community Mental Health Team Base, OPD And Day Hospital;
Clifden Community Nursing Unit Refurb (50 Beds);
Tuam Community Nursing Unit Upgrade (50 Beds);
Merlin Park Community Nursing Unit (60 Beds);
New Rehab unit (with support of NRH);
Sacred Heart Community Nursing Unit upgrade (50 beds).