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06 Jul 2022

€4 million signals end to 'much foot-dragging' on Laois hospital

HSE multi-million rebuild of Mountmellick hospital as it 'fails to meet regulation standards'

HSE multi-million rebuild of Mountmellick hospital as it 'fails to meet regulation standards'

Money to start a long overdue modernisation of a hospital demanded by Ireland's health watchdog has been included in the HSE's spending plans for 2022 a move which a Laois TD says ends 'much foot-dragging' on the project to bring the facility into line with regulations.

The allocation of €4 million for St Vincent's Hospital in Mountmellick will allow phase one of the project to proceed some seven years after the Health Information Quality Authority called a halt to new admissions in 2015.

After some changes were made, HIQA lifted its ban in 2016, when it was announced that funding of €23.7 million for a phased overhaul that would create 130 beds in new facilities.

The HSE confirmed in 2020 that new two new 50 bed units would be built while the St. Mary's / St. Theresa's ward would be refurbished to bring it in line with current HIQA regulations for older person's units.

The HSE has eventually confirmed in its new 2022 plan that money has been set aside for phase 1 of the work on the facility which provides long stay, respite, rehab and special care rooms for hospice residents.

The Fine Gael TD welcomed the move.

“Following my strong representations, I am pleased that €4 million has been made available towards the first phase of the long-awaited development of St Vincent's, Mountmellick. This development was announced over 7 years ago, by Minister Kathleen Lynch, and despite much foot-dragging since then, I am now confident that matters will proceed so that real progress can be made," he said.

It was Dep Flanagan who, in 2016, confirmed the nearly €24 million overhaul.

The money for St Vincent's is part of a €9.338 million funding package under 2022 Capital Plan for the construction and upgrade of our health facilities in Laois.

Deputy Flanagan also welcomed the extension for Mountrath Health Centre which will receive €100,000 in funding for the work and money for Portlaoise hospital.

 “Funding of €4 million for Portlaoise Midland Regional Hospital is welcome and I am pleased a new respiratory unit is been advanced for MRH, Portlaoise. The Covid pandemic was most challenging and none more so than for our healthcare workers. This facility will separate Covid 19 and non-Covid 19 patients and is a badly needed but welcome development”.

Deputy Flanagan concluded: “I am pleased to see this funding for Laois healthcare facilities, and I look forward to each of the projects moving onto their next phase of development and build as quickly possible”.

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