“Nothing has happened" in the search for new Cork hospital site

“Nothing has happened" in the search for new Cork hospital site
An aerial view of Cork University Hospital site. A committee was set up last year to find a site for a new hospital but has yet to even meet

THERE has been widespread silence from the HSE, Department of Health and Government ministers surrounding the make-up of a committee tasked with finding a site for the new Cork hospital.

Speaking to the Evening Echo in March 2018, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said a team had been selected to assess possible locations for the new general hospital which has been allocated €250 million.

Health Minister Simon Harris also pledged that the committee would meet last year.

However, it was confirmed this week that the committee members are yet to meet amid growing concern and confusion around the project.

“Nothing has happened,” said Cork Senator Colm Burke (FG).

“The people that have been nominated to the committee haven’t met yet.

“There have been internal HSE discussions on the issue but nothing outside of that,” he added. “The HSE seemed to have stalled on that committee meeting, that’s a big concern.

“We need to fast track this but because of the delays of the HSE in the south, we’re now on the back foot with regards to capital funding for any project. There seems to be no priority being given to it.

“I don’t understand what politics is going on here but it’s not in the interest of Cork or the people living here.”

The Echo has contacted the HSE, Department of Health and South/South West Hospital Group for comment and an update on the issue.

No response has been forthcoming.

Senator Burke said many of those who were initially contacted about being on the committee almost 12 months ago have not been contacted since.

“The initial contact might have been 12 months ago and certainly nothing has happened in the last seven or eight months,” he explained.

“People got phone calls asking would they sit on this committee and have heard nothing about a meeting since.

“There isn’t anyone who I understand is to be on the committee that has been contacted,” he added.

“I have put in a number of questions into the Department of Health and Health Committee and I’m getting only bland, generic responses.

“We’ve already lost 12 months. We are now going to be passed out by facilities in Galway and in other areas of Ireland.”

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