Portlaoise hospital staff in 2020 during the first Covid-19 pandemic wave
More than €2 million is to be spent on Portlaoise hospital providing additional clinical and administration space this year in addition to the estimated €5 million to be spent on a new respiratory unit for Covid-19 patients.
The spending appears to be evidence that the HSE is planning to have to cope with people with the coronavirus through the winter of 2021/22.
The new 2021 HSE service plan says that a ward refurbishment project will see the provision of nine isolation rooms at a total cost of €820,000.
Work is already underway on the reconfiguration of available space to provide additional clinical and admin accommodation at a total cost of €1.67 million.
Construction workers are engaged in two significant projects at the Laois hospital at present. The lab facilities are being upgraded while the former chapel of rest is being converted into offices so that more space in the adjoining administration building can be made available for clinical purposes.
The service plan also says that €4.9 million has been set aside for the construction of a new respiratory assessment unit n the hospital so that Covid-19 patients can be separately treated. This is due to become operational by the end of 2021.