Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said the funding highlights the urgent need for single rooms at the hospital in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With only thirteen single rooms, the senior clinical team took the innovative step to immediately find more space and proposed a plan to move Outpatients Department to a modular unit with fourteen minor injuries treatment rooms on the grounds of the hospital.
“In repurposing this space, now there will be access to twelve more single rooms en-suite. The plan for construction of the extra twelve rooms is end of the year and this needs to be accelerated.
“The initial planning had been approved from 2016 and this commitment moved this project to the HSE priority list. €4.19 million is allocated in funding for 2021, the enabling works stage is coming to completion and we are now moving to the construction stage. This final tender selection will take place by mid-August.
“Other crucial funding includes €440,000 for replacement lifts and half a million for fire detection, alarm and lighting systems.
“The total breakdown of funding for ongoing projects for 2021 for Portiuncula Hospital includes €4.19 million for the construction phase of the fifty-bedroomed ward block for this year, €500,000 for fire detection, alarm and lighting systems, €440,000 to replace four lifts, €200,000 for building works to accommodate new fluoroscopy equipment, and €200,000 to allow for the conversion of outpatients.
“Funding has also been approved for a replacement CT scanner, however building works to house this equipment is also urgently required for 2022 and this will need engagement by all stakeholders,” Senator Dolan concluded.