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21/09/2021

Laois health services to get €6.4 million cash injection

Details revealed by Laois Offaly Minister Seán Fleming

€6 million for Laois health services

Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Major capital funding of €6.45 million is set to be spent on health infrastructure in Laois with a large chunk of the cash fund a new respiratory unit in Portlaoise hospital, according Laois Offaly TD Sean Fleming.

The Minister of State at the Department of Finance said the capital expenditure is contained in the National Health Capital Plan for 2021.

He said he has been speaking with the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly on these matters over recent months with the result that funding has been given the green light.

Minister Fleming said the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise is getting €4.66million for a new Respiratory Assessment Unit, additional clinical and administration accommodation, AMHU anti-ligature works, €200,000, and the provision of nine isolation units, €500,000 as well as the reconfiguration of the maternity ward, €100,000.

The respiratory unit and isolation beds had previously been announced by the HSE with a view to equipping the hospital so that Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 respiratory patients could be seen separately.

The new Respiratory Assessment Unit (RAU) will see the construction of a two-storey 800 m2 modular building to provide respiratory assessment unit for Emergency Department to segregate patients. It was outlined in the HSE's Pandemic Plan.

The Fianna Fáil TD said St Vincent’s Hospital, Mountmellick is getting €950,000 for new build to increase bed capacity. The redevelopment of the residential care facility has been ongoing in recent years to meet HIQA standards.

The three GP Mountrath Health Centre is getting a €340,000 boost in the form of an extension and additional accommodation.

Meanwhile, funding has also been announced for the further development of the St Fintan’s Hospital, Portlaoise. Minister Fleming said it is getting €300,000 for new primary care centre and refurbishment works for the Child and Adolescent Unit (CAMHS). 

Work has been ongoing at the facility as part of an masterplan to repurpose the former long-stay psychiatric hospital. An extensive primary care centre is included in this masterplan.

Meanwhile, on the same campus, the Maryborough Residential Centre is getting €200,000 for the provision of single ensuite accommodation. The centre was the sight of nine deaths from Covid-19 over the Easter weekend of 2020. 

Minister Fleming added that, in addition to the above capital developments, work is underway at the hospital in Portlaoise and at the hospital in Abbeyleix.

There have been question marks over the HSE's and Government's commitment in particular to Portlaoise hospital but the junior Minister said the spending shows that the coalition backs the upgrade of health facilities for the people of Laois.

"This funding demonstrates our absolute commitment to improving the health services in Co Laois for all people in the county and surrounding areas who use these facilities. I will continue to fight for and use my position in Government to ensure improved health services in Portlaoise and Co Laois," he said.

Minister Fleming's Green Part colleague Senator Pippa Hackett also welcome the money and funding for the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore.

Minister Pippa Hackett welcomes the upcoming publication by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly of the National Health Capital Plan for 2021.

“It’s encouraging to see that in 2021, €6.25 will be spent on capital improvements in Laois and €4.4 will be spent in Offaly on a number of significant projects, which will see improvements in health care facilities across the constituency,” she said.

The funding for projects in Tullamore also relates to improvements outlined in the pandemic plan.

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