Local TD Denis Naughten has called on the Minister for Health to ensure a second 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, is included in Government plans for 1,500 new hospital beds across the country.
“The HSE has issued a tender for 1,500 new hospital beds at 15 sites across the country and it is imperative that Portiuncula, which had the most overcrowded Emergency Department in Ireland last January, is included in these plans,” said Denis Naughten.
“The HSE tender is seeking to have the new beds delivered within 75 weeks using modular building and off-site manufacturing, but in the case of Portiuncula the builders are already in place constructing the first 50 bed ward block, which is to replace existing beds in outdated wards
“An extra 50 beds at Portiuncula are vital to meet the growing pressures on the hospital, which I exposed in the Dáil last January as being the most pressurised Emergency Department in the country due to the lack of available beds.
“I warned at the time that the HSE will put the hospitals with the big headline numbers on trolleys at the top of their agenda with smaller hospitals like Portiuncula, with less beds and under the most pressure, being ignored. This cannot be allowed to happen.
“When I secured the commitment in Government through Project Ireland 2040 for the current 50 bed project that is under construction, which was delivered upon by then Minister for Health Simon Harris in October 2019, I also ensured that there was provision made for a further 50 bed extension at Portiuncula,” stated Denis Naughten.
“The groundworks at the hospital, which delayed the initial construction of the current 50-bed ward block, made provision for a further 50 beds to be constructed on the Portiuncula site and this has been confirmed to me in writing by management.
“Now that Government is proceeding with a planned 1,500 hospital bed expansion it must move on an additional extension of 50 beds to Portiuncula as soon as possible,” concluded Denis Naughten.
Assessment of ED overcrowding last January