Press Release

Minister Martin provides funding for purchase of Portiuncula

Mr. Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Health and Children, today (1st October, 2001) announced that he has agreed to provide funding of £11m to enable the Western Health Board to purchase Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway from the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood.

The Order took a decision a few years back to withdraw from control of the hospital. Discussions on transferring the ownership of the hospital to the Western Health Board have now concluded.

Portiuncula has played an important role in the provision of public hospital services in the region and it was important that it be retained as a provider of public hospital services. With the acquisition of Portiuncula the integrated strategic development of hospital services for the region will be assured.

The Minister said, “I would like to thank the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood for their dedication to caring for people and all their work over the years to provide hospital services for the people of the area. I would like to wish them well in all their endeavours for the future.

This Government is committed to the continued development of acute hospital services in the Western Health Board region. The Western Health Board currently provides acute services through its hospitals at University College Hospital, Merlin Park, Mayo General and Roscommon County Hospital. Major developments are currently underway or nearing completion at University College Hospital, Galway and at Mayo General.

I will be bringing the National Review of Bed Capacity in the Acute Hospital Sector to Government in the near future. My aim is to agree with my colleagues an investment strategy for the development of acute hospitals on the basis of the findings of the review”.