New outpatients department to open at Portiuncula on 12th March – Naughten

In East Galway, Local Issues, News, South Roscommon by Denis Naughten

Work on Portiuncula 50 bed ward block to commence this summer

Denis Naughten has received confirmation that the new out-patient department at Portiuncula hospital will open on 12th March, which will provide the opportunity to replace beds lost due to covid reconfiguration.

He has also been informed that the tender for the construction of the new 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula University Hospital in Ballinasloe will be advertised before the end of the first quarter of 2021 with construction expected to begin this summer.

The issue was raised in the Dáil today (Thursday) by Denis Naughten where it was confirmed that construction will proceed in the summer, subject to the availability of funding.

Denis Naughten also raised the ongoing issue with capacity at Portiuncula Hospital due to the fact it has lost 10% of its acute hospital capacity due to Covid-19 configuration.

“The hospital was very proactive and put forward two very specific proposals. The first was to develop two separate modular buildings: one for an accident and emergency department that could segregate Covid and non-Covid patients and the second modular building was to take the outpatient department out of the acute hospital and convert the old outpatient department into 13 single rooms.  At present Portiuncula hospital, which is one of the biggest acute hospitals servicing the midlands while trying to manage an infectious disease, has only 13 single rooms.

“It is totally unacceptable that the hospital is operating at 10% less capacity today, with just 13 single rooms, which leaves it in an impossible position to manage the pandemic and the challenges that currently exist,” explained Denis Naughten.

Answering the issues raised by Denis Naughten, Minister of State Frank Feighan pointed out that a modular building will provide temporary accommodation for “ED minor injuries treatment and assessment rooms”.

He added: “The unit will have a residual value for the displacement of out-patient accommodation after the Covid-19 emergency. Construction works to the modular building at Portiuncula will be complete by the end of the first week of March and the hospital will commission the building for the occupation of the out-patient department the week ending 12thMarch 2021.”

Denis Naughten added: “I have been pursuing the 50 bed ward block completion since I secured the commitment on its construction in 2019 and I’m delighted to see that this project is now being expedited.”