Six investment projects currently underway at Newcastle-based acute hospital
Substantial capital investment in University Hospital Galway will help the facility meet the healthcare needs of Galway and the West. I recently raised the issue of investment at UHG, particularly the Emergency Department, in the Dáil. In his reply Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar outlined the infrastructure projects which will enhance healthcare facilities at UHG.
The projects include:
- A new 75 bed clinical ward block for which construction will commence in March;
- A new 50 bed acute mental health department for which construction will commence in the autumn;
- A phased upgrade of the maternity department for which the first phase will be completed by the end of March;
- A new radiation oncology project which is currently being designed and will be built on the site of the existing mental health department which is being replaced;
- A new clinical research facility jointly funded by NUI Galway, the HSE and the Health Research Board which will be operational in March or April;
- A new two-phase upgrade and maintenance project of current infrastructure at the hospital campus including roads, car-parking, energy supply and utilities which will be completed by the end of 2015.
I very much welcome this considerable investment in University Hospital Galway which sensibly plans for the increased need for health service arising from our increasing population.
While everyone knows, not least the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, that our heath service faces significant challenges the investment which is being made is often overlooked.
Also overlooked are the many successful outcomes that happen on a daily basis in our health service including University Hospital Galway. Across the service thousands of people are treated by a dedicated staff.
Investment is vital to ensure that such work continues. Investment is taking place across a range of areas at UHG including mental healthcare, oncology, and maternity as well as clinical research.
It’s vital that progress is achieved in these areas and that investment commences in other areas such as the Emergency Department which I will continue to press with Minister Varadkar.
DÁIL QUESTION No. 25 addressed to the Minister for Health (Leo Varadkar) by Deputy Seán Kyne
To ask the Minister for Health when a decision is likely on a new emergency department in University Hospital Galway; when approval from the Health Service Executive steering committee on the type and height of the new building will be forthcoming; and if he will make a statement on the matter – Seán Kyne T.D.
As with all capital projects the proposed new ED project at University Hospital Galway must be considered within the overall capital envelope available to the health service. There are proposals to extend and upgrade the Emergency department and some funding is available to advance the development of this project. However, there is limited funding available for new projects over the next multi-annual period 2015-2019 given the level of commitments and the costs to completion already in place.
Nevertheless a number of construction projects are underway and are being completed at University Hospital Galway.
- A two phase infrastructure upgrade and maintenance project will be completed this year. Phase 1 includes the upgrade of roads and car-parking and utilities. Phase 2 includes an upgrade of the power supply and distribution system.
- The construction of the clinical research facility funded by NUIG, the Health Research Board and the HSE is now completed and it is expected to be operational in March / April 2015.
- Currently, the HSE is in the process of appointing a contractor for the construction of a new clinical ward block which will deliver 75 beds. It is expected that construction will commence in March 2015. Currently the projected date for completion is end-2016.
- A contractor has been appointed for the construction of a new 50 bed acute mental health department. Enabling works have commenced and it is projected that construction will begin in Q3 2015. At this point it is projected that it will be completed by end-2016.
- The new radiation oncology project is in design phase. It will be built on the site of the current acute mental health department. Construction will commence immediately upon the transfer of service to the new acute mental health department.
- A phased upgrade of the maternity department has commenced. Phase 1, the upgrade of the medical gas network will be completed in Q1 2015.
These projects demonstrate the considerable infrastructure investment underway on the UHG campus.
Any future investment at University Hospital Galway must be considered within the overall acute hospital sector infrastructure programme, within the overall capital envelope available to the health service and in the context of the establishment of hospital groups. In 2015, there will be a structured integration of the all hospitals in the Saolta University Hospital Group. This will provide further support for all hospitals in delivering high-quality, safe patient care in a cost-effective manner. The HSE is concentrating on applying the limited funding available for infrastructure development in the most effective way possible to meet current and future needs.