THE decision to build Cork’s new hospital at St Stephen’s Hospital in Sarsfield’s Court, Glanmire, has been welcomed, but a local councillor has warned that infrastructure needs to be improved to make it accessible.
Following a recent decision taken at Cabinet, the Government gave official approval for the building of an elective hospital at the Sarsfield’s Court site. This development will now be brought forward to the planning phase.
The decision was hailed by Labour councillor John Maher.
“It is very good news that we are getting a hospital on the northside,” he said. “It is long overdue. It will also give us a balance for the people from the northside who won’t have to travel unnecessarily across the city for appointments. We now need to build the infrastructure to support the hospital.”
Mr Maher said the challenge is now to ‘match’ the infrastructure to accessibility.
“We need to match up the infrastructure to ensure the access points both in and out are feasible for everyone,” he said. “The infrastructure needs to be built so we can allow people to get to it. That is the key.
“I’m led to believe the National Transport Authority are deciding the routes at the moment for this northern distributor road and I would like to think this will provide some infrastructure. We also have our climate targets. We can’t tell people to not use their car if we don’t provide the infrastructure.”
The councillor also cited BusConnects as another piece of the jigsaw.
“With BusConnects pending, the bus will be extended up and do the loop at the new hospital,” he said.
The elective hospital is expected to provide 180,000 extra procedures, treatments, and diagnostic appointments every year.