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05 Jul 2022

Portlaoise hospital expansion welcome but 'firm' backing for A&E demanded

Portlaoise hospital expansion welcome but 'firm' backing for A&E demanded

Demonstration for Portlaoise hospital in 2017

The green light for a new respiratory unit which will have an important Covid-19 function at Portlaoise hospital is a positive development but a 'firm' commitment is needed on the future of the Emergency Department (ED / A&E), according to Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley.

The Sinn Féin representative has welcomed Laois County Council's decision to grant planning permission for the new Respiratory Assessment Unit (RAU).

Dep Stanley said this is a positive development for the hospital.

“This unit will enhance the status of hospital and the extra space it will provide is badly needed. There will also be an extension to the Paediatric Unit. This is a very busy hospital with an average of 40,000 patients attending each year. The important thing now is that the work will commence as soon as possible," he said.

The €5 million unit will be linked to the hospital's ED which not so long ago the HSE planned to shut down. Dep Stanley on  Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party to take the next step and take downgrade off the table.

"It is also essential for the Government to give a firm commitment for the continuation of the Emergency Department at the hospital. This is a vital service to the people of Portlaoise and surrounding areas," he said.

Apart from the Respiratory Unit, the HSE has also been given the goahead to expand the paediatric department. 

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