A Cork TD has raised concerns in relation to the new elective hospital which he said “does not meet what is required in Cork”.
Fine Gael’s Spokesperson on Health Colm Burke raised the issue with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly at a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee earlier this week.
Deputy Burke said that the report presented by Sláintecare to the HSE South South West Hospital Group on March 4 is “a totally watered-down proposal to what is required for Cork”.
“I confirm that I have written to the Minister for Health and to all of the Fine Gael cabinet ministers advising them that this proposal is not acceptable,” he said.
Deputy Burke said that he is “not happy with what is happening” with the hospital and that the current challenges seen by both the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) and the South Infirmary Hospital have not been taken into consideration.
The new elective hospital in Cork is being built to carry out high volume, low complexity procedures on a day and outpatient basis and are expected to take pressure off acute hospitals and reduce patient waiting lists.
“They’re talking about a hospital that would be day cases only. So for instance, if you take someone with diabetes or a BMI above what they should be then they can’t be treated in a day facility for minor procedures.
Deputy Burke also raised concerns in relation to the length of time it has taken to identify a site for the hospital.
“We haven’t even identified a site and if you identify a site today you then have to go away and have to do a set of pLans for a hospital and that would take an average of 12 months. You then have to go through a planning process which would take at least a further 12 to 18 months. The Minister said that we’ll have something up and running by 2025, I can’t see that being reached now,” he said.
Minister of State at the Department of Health, Frank Feighan, told the Seanad on Monday that work will begin to identify sites for the new hospitals in Cork, Galway and Dublin in the “near future”.
“Work is ongoing on a draft preliminary business case, which will recommend a single site option in each of Galway, Cork and Dublin.
"A site identification exercise to identify possible suitable sites in the three locations will begin in the near future,” Mr Feighan said.