Local health projects remain on track but funding must be forthcoming to bring them to completion – Naughten

In East Galway, Health, Local Issues, Mid-Roscommon, News by Denis Naughten

Denis Naughten TD outside Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe.



A number of local health projects in Roscommon Town and Ballinasloe are included in the HSE Capital Plan to 2022 but the Government must ensure funding is put in place to complete the projects, local TD Denis Naughten has stated.


“The 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital, the Rehab Unit at Roscommon Hospital and the major refurbishment of Roscommon’s Sacred Heart Hospital remain within the timelines for construction which we worked hard to secure and this is welcome,” stated Denis Naughten.


“However it is imperative that the funding that is now required to complete the projects is forthcoming from the Minister for Finance.


“Following the cost overrun on the Children’s Hospital Project I had sought – and obtained – assurances that this would not impact on these local projects and this has now been confirmed with the publication of the HSE Capital Plan 2019-2021.


“However we must remain vigilant because of the potential economic challenges as a result of the fallout from Brexit.


“The fact is that the 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital is still on track to be completed by 2022, a commitment which I secured from Government in Project Ireland 2040. This is very welcome as it is now urgently required to address the chaotic situation that many patients, and staff, are facing in our local A&E Department.


“ I expect that the enabling works required in advance of construction of the new ward block will commence with a follow-on commitment of funding to bring this long promised project to completion in line with the decision that I secured from the Cabinet.


“The commitment by Government to the Portiuncula development is clearly set out in Project Ireland 2040 and I have made it clear that I expect that to be fulfilled. If we are to develop Athlone into a city then we must ensure that it has a hospital, and Portiuncula is that hospital.”


Denis Naughten continued: “While it is reassuring that the Sacred Heart Hospital remains in the Capital Plan it is imperative that this project is progressed to construction without delay to meet the HIQA deadline for registration of the Sacred Heart Hospital in 2022.


“This facility provides a vital long stay service to older people, particularly those who have complex care needs. It also provides one of the best rehabilitation services of its kind in Ireland or the UK and with our growing older population investment in a modern Sacred Heart Hospital is key to the future of health care locally.


“Progress is also being made on the development of Alzheimers and dementia services on the new Sacred Heart Hospital campus and it was essential that this project remained in the HSE Capital Plan.”


“The  new 25 bed rehabilitation unit at Roscommon Hospital also forms part of the Capital Plan and Denis Naughten said this “will allow Roscommon to become the Centre of Excellence when it comes to the care of people recovering from serious injury and stroke throughout the midlands & west of Ireland”.


He added: “It also helps to boost the long term security of Roscommon Hospital as a major employer in County Roscommon. This project, promised by Fine Gael in 2011 after the closure of our A&E needs to move speedily to construction because there is a growing demand for such rehabilitative services.


“At present, it is not uncommon for people to have to wait for over a year to access rehabilitative services in Dun Laoghaire and then only receive 12 weeks intensive rehabilitation once they do get into the hospital. What has been really frustrating up to now is that if patients can access this rehabilitative treatment earlier, and for far longer, they can make significant leaps forward towards making a full recovery.


“All of these projects have been on lists before and while I am reassured that they remain on those lists it is now time to see them move from the ‘to do’ list to the completed list, in line with the timelines that I secured from Government and I expect that the funding required to meet these timelines will now be forthcoming,” concluded Denis Naughten.


Editors note:


Some of the projects in Galway & Roscomon that are being progressed under the capital plan:

  • 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;
  • Mortuary refurbishment;
  • 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 at Roscommon University Hospital (with support of NRH);
  • Sacred Heart Community Nursing Unit Roscommon upgrade (50 beds);

It is important to state the projects included in the plan are at different stages of development and, in some cases, significant work is still required to bring the projects to tender stage.