Taoiseach 'pushing strongly' for new Cork hospital to take pressure off CUH and MUH 

Speaking in Cork yesterday, Mr Martin said that “there is progress being made” on the elective hospital, although he acknowledged that it has been talked about “for a long, long time”.
Taoiseach 'pushing strongly' for new Cork hospital to take pressure off CUH and MUH 

The Taoiseach was talking at a visit to St Mary’s Health Campus in Cork, cutting the ribbon on a €30m extension to the Heather House Community Nursing Unit. Picture: Brian Lougheed

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin said he is “pushing strongly” for the commencement of a new elective hospital in Cork “as quickly as we possibly can” to take the pressure off of the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) and Cork University Hospital (CUH).

In February of this year, it was confirmed that a location has been chosen in Cork for the elective hospital, which will focus on outpatient procedures and surgeries.

Speaking in Cork yesterday, Mr Martin said that “there is progress being made” on the elective hospital, although he acknowledged that it has been talked about “for a long, long time”.

He said that plans for the hospital are going through the public spending code, and that a first-class elective facility is “very important in terms of taking pressure off acute tertiary hospitals” such as CUH and MUH.

His comments follow the news that patients were waiting an average time of 21.6 hours in MUH’s emergency department (ED) in May, and an average of 19.6 hours at CUH.

Figures from the HSE show that the average waiting time in an ED nationally in May was 11 hours.

A spokesperson for the South/South West Hospitals Group, which includes CUH and the Mercy, said they have been experiencing high numbers of attendances and emergency presentations.

They said a factor influencing movement through EDs is the availability of beds within hospitals for admissions, as well as in community settings when patients are ready to move out of acute care.

“In Cork City, bed capacity issues in particular are challenging, but locally both hospital and community services are working in an integrated approach to improve the flow of patients across the system, paramount to same is the safe discharge of patients who have ongoing care needs,” they said.

Speaking about the planned elective hospital, which will have between 400 and 600 beds to help alleviate pressure on CUH and MUH, Mr Martin said he is determined to get it done” to futureproof the healthcare system in Cork.

He highlighted that investment is needed to keep up with the demand for healthcare services. However, he emphasised “the problems of overcrowding and lack of access in hospitals cannot be solved in or by hospitals alone”.

The Taoiseach was talking at a visit to St Mary’s Health Campus in Cork, cutting the ribbon on a €30m extension to the Heather House Community Nursing Unit.

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