THE committee tasked with selecting a site for the new Cork hospital has failed to meet — 10 months after it was set up.
Tanaiste Simon Coveney told the Evening Echo in March 2018 that a committee had been selected to locate a site for the new general hospital in Cork. However, it has been confirmed that the committee still has not met.
Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke said the lack of progress was disappointing as the city needs a new acute hospital to take the pressure off Cork University Hospital.
“I’m concerned that there has been no progress in the last 12 months. There’s a certain amount of money allocated to infrastructure by the HSE every year and unless Cork gets its act together, we could be left behind in terms of these hospitals,” he said.
“We haven’t even identified a site and there has been no meeting with the planning officials,” added Mr Burke.
Senator Burke said he hopes to meet with Minister Harris and Cork public representatives in the coming days to discuss the issue.
He said he will also express his desire to include Cork-based officials in the planning and site selection.
“I don’t believe that this should be decided just by the HSE,” the Senator explained.
“There should be input from the city and county councils so that we don’t have the same mess as we did in Dublin with the National Children’s Hospital.
“I don’t want the same thing to happen in Cork,” he added.
“This is a hospital that is going to be around for a hundred years and we need to make sure that we have a detailed analysis of the best locations and that it’s not signed off on by people outside the county or from Dublin.
“It needs to be dealt with in partnership with the councils, the university, CUH and voluntary hospitals.”
He said he didn’t want the new hospital to be dragged out in the same way the National Children’s Hospital has been delayed.
“The National Children’s Hospital has been discussed for 25 years. We’ve already wasted a year in Cork, we need to act now.”