There is widespread concern over the impact that the National Children’s Hospital overspend will have on local developments in Donegal, including the Sheil Hospital in Ballyshannon.
The Cabinet is meeting today to plan how to save €100 million from this year’s capital budget to make up for cost overruns at the new National Children’s Hospital.
Concerns are growing in South Donegal that the proposed upgrade of the Sheil Hospital in Ballyshannon will be impacted.
A new 80-bed unit was due to be constructed to accommodate both residents/patients of the Sheil Hospital and Rock Nursing Unit within the Health Campus in Ballyshannon. Permission for the €19M development was granted in July 2018.
Local representatives are now calling for assurance that the project will not face any cutbacks under new budget arrangements.
People Before Profit is seeking clarity on any projects that are being delayed and is asking that Fianna Fáil support the vote of no confidence in Health Minister Simon Harris.
Cyril Brennan of People Before Profit said: “People within the local community of Ballyshannon and the surrounding areas are concerned that such an important project which would increase bed capacity within the area, and help reduce the current trolley crisis within Sligo University Hospital could potentially be delayed.”
Mr Brennan said that total investment at Shiel Hospital would see 80 beds delivered at a cost of €19 million a total cost of €237,500 per bed compared to the Children’s Hospital where it is currently costing €3.7 million per bed.
He added: “The Children’s Hospital is an important project however it will not be adding any extra capacity to the system instead replacing older units, it’s important that projects don’t get delayed that aim to increase capacity in a bid to reduce the current trolley crisis.”
Bundoran businessman Diarmaid Doherty, who is running for local election in May, also voiced his concerns on the Shiel Hospital and said: “My fears are that the €19 million earmarked for the project will be redirected to the Dublin hospital.
Mr Doherty said: “I am calling on our local TDs to ask the following question of the Minister for Health Simon Harris: Ask the minister for an update on the next phase on the development of the Sheil hospital which would provide 80 beds within the health campus in Ballyshannon and to outline if the estimated €19 million has been put in place to carry out the work and if he will make a statement on the matter.”Tags: