Hopkins: ‘Hospital projects are safe’


Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins says that enabling works on a new 50-bed ward at Portiuncula Hospital will commence this year.

  Speaking in the Seanad on Wednesday, Senator Hopkins described the project as “shovel-ready” and said there was an urgent need for it to progress.

  Responding to Senator Hopkins, Minister of State Jim Daly confirmed that tender documents were being prepared with a view to progressing the procurement process to begin an enabling works contract this year.

  The Fine Gael Senator also confirmed that funding is being put in place this year to begin the design process on the Sacred Heart Hospital project in Roscommon.

  Senator Hopkins said: “The HSE have confirmed to me that it is expected construction on the Sacred Heart Hospital project will commence in late 2020/early 2021. The project includes the construction of a new 50-bedded residential care centre to replace existing accommodation as well as further upgrades to the rest of the facilities at the site”.

  Her comments come after Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy had expressed “serious concern” over the future viability of both the Portiuncula and Sacred Heart Hospital projects due to the controversial projected overspend on the new National Children’s Hospital.

  Deputy Murphy said that Tanáiste Simon Coveney’s response to him in the Dáil had been unsatisfactory.

  Deputy Murphy said: “It is imperative that these vital capital projects in this region go ahead.

  “Commitments were given in relation to the multi-million project at the Sacred Heart Hospital prior to the 2016 General Election but two years on we are not much further along. This multi-million euro project was announced back in January 2016 and was due to be completed in 2021.

  “Commitments in relation to these major capital projects in this region need to be honoured. We need a health service that is fit for purpose for everyone no matter where they live,” concluded Deputy Murphy.