Cork's new elective hospital must be on the northside for accessibility, Labour leader says

Cork's new elective hospital must be on the northside for accessibility, Labour leader says

Labour leader Alan Kelly made the comments while speaking to The Echo during a visit to Cork to meet with a number of different people, including maternity care campaigner Linda Kelly and UCC’s Students’ Union. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

LABOUR leader Alan Kelly has said the new elective hospital set to be developed in Cork should be built on the northside of the city.

While the location of the new elective hospital has yet to be revealed, Mr Kelly said Cork’s new elective hospital, set to be developed as part of Sláintecare, should be built on the grounds of St Stephen’s Hospital in Sarsfield Court.

“It should be on the northside – accessible for Cork and then accessible just off the motorway for lots of other people across the country,” he said.

Mr Kelly made the comments while speaking to The Echo during a visit to Cork to meet with a number of different people, including maternity care campaigner Linda Kelly and UCC’s Students’ Union.

He said that the implementation of the Sláintecare programme is critical in tackling the issues with the healthcare system but that he believes there is an “ideological issue at the heart of Government in relation to its implementation”.

“We’ve seen that - we’ve seen all the resignations.

“I don’t think Stephen Donnelly’s commitments to it are realistic. We’re already behind – way behind.

“I accept Covid will have an impact, there’s no doubt, but there’s lots of stuff that Covid wouldn’t have an impact on – planning for regionalisation shouldn’t have been impacted because that’s desktop stuff, that didn’t need to involve frontline staff so all of that for me showed a lack of political will.” 

It is understood the plans for Cork’s new elective hospital are focused on a facility that will carry out low complexity procedures on a day and outpatient basis.

However, Mr Kelly said his preference would be a facility that would include some overnight beds.

“I get the need for both.

“I get the need to have a quantity of beds that are available for basically day procedures because what happens is that if day procedures aren’t dealt with in a timeframe that they should be dealt with, they become bigger issues and you end up with a longer stay in acute care.

“We have a problem with timelines for day procedures.

“They take too long and they become bigger problems, so I understand that argument but I think proportionately also there is a requirement for less complicated procedures but procedures that can be done in an elective hospital that you may need an overnight or two,” he said.

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