Press Release

Minister Martin allocates funding for the opening of new facilities in hospitals

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr. Micheál Martin T.D. today, 15th September 2004, approved the commissioning of a number of new units in acute and non – hospitals throughout the country which have been funded under the National Development Plan. Speaking today outlining the details of the programme, the Minister said, “These developments will provide modern health facilities particularly in relation to cancer care, medical assessment units and accident and emergency departments. New day facilities, theatre and diagnostic capacity will result in improved patient flows through the hospital system and make better use of existing in-patient beds. The additional beds are in line with commitments in the Government’s Health Strategy.  They will enable the hospital system to provide significantly enhanced service to patients”.

The new facilities include:

  • New Accident and Emergency Departments at Cork University Hospital, Naas General Hospital and Roscommon County Hospital;
  • New Surgical block, Intensive Care Unit, Operating Theatres and Accident and Emergency Department at James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown;
  • New Operating Theatres at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children (2 new theatres), Limerick Regional Hospital (2 new theatres) South Tipperary Hospital Clonmel;
  • Increased capacity in intensive care, coronary care and high dependency units at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, University College Hospital Galway and Naas General Hospital;
  • New day ward and day surgical centre at St James Hospital Dublin;
  • New orthopaedic services (trauma and elective) in Galway and Mayo;
  • New Maternity Suite at Letterkenny General Hospital;
  • New Medical Assessment Unit at Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar.

The new units include provision of over 200 additional beds between in-patient and day places and when fully operational it is estimated that the new units will increase in-patient and day case activity by up to 40,000 patients in a full year.

Minister Martin also announced that the new Acute Psychiatric Units at James Connolly Memorial Hospital and Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise will open to patients over the next few weeks.

The Portlaoise Unit has a total of 50 beds and will be the acute in-patient component of the Laois/Offaly Mental Health Service.  It will provide care for patients in the catchment area who require acute hospital admission as part of an individually tailored plan of care and treatment.

The new unit at James Connolly Memorial Hospital is a 56-bed unit comprising 44 acute psychiatric beds, 6 high observation beds and 6 psychiatry of old age beds.  Patients from the existing acute admission unit at James Connolly Memorial Hospital will now be relocated to the new unit.  Patients from the acute unit at St Brendan’s Hospital will also be moving to this new unit.

Minister Martin also announced the commissioning of a number of new units for older people throughout the country, these news facilities include

  • the commissioning of an additional 20 beds at the new Community Nursing Unit, Birr. Co Offaly
  • the commissioning of the new Day Hospital for older people at Wexford General Hospital which will provide day hospital facilities for 10 patients daily
  • the commissioning of an additional 17 beds at the Medical Rehabilitation Unit, South Infirmary – Victoria Hospital Cork

When these units are open and combined with the 709 beds provided for in phase I of the bed capacity initiative we remain on target to provide an additional 3,000 beds over 10 years as outlined in the Health Strategy” concluded Minister Martin