The long drawn out process to commence the enabling works for the new 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, are coming to an end with the selection of a contractor in the coming days, local TD Denis Naughten has confirmed.
“The enabling works are required in advance of construction of the new 50 bed ward block, a commitment which I secured from Government in Project Ireland 2040 and was delivered upon by Minister Harris in October” stated Denis Naughten.
“I have now been informed that the HSE has received and listed the contractors in a protracted tender process that was initially delayed at the end of last year and had subsequently to be postponed to take account of safety measures needed on site as a result of Covid 19”.
“The HSE is now going through some legal requirements and they expect a contractor will be appointed shortly after that, with works on site before the end of the Summer”.
“This is very welcome news, but it is disappointing that the decision taken last October was not followed through immediately by the HSE, and that the unacceptable delays that I highlighted previously, have prolonged the tender process”.
“The result of Covid 19 is that as a new ward block is now more urgently required than ever before to address the chaotic situation that many patients, and staff, have faced in the past in our local A&E Department.
“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.”