Minister for Health Simon Harris announced the go-ahead of the €8 million rehabilitation unit at Roscommon University Hospital on Wednesday.
There had been doubts raised over the project after it was not included in the HSE 2016-21 Capital Plan earlier this year despite plans to construct the unit in 2016.
However, speaking at the official opening of the new €5.5 million Endoscopy Unit, Minister Harris confirmed that the Rehabilitation Unit would now go ahead.
“I’m also pleased to be here today to be able to provide some clarification in relation to a rehabilitation unit for this hospital. I have worked with my officials to make sure that funding is available for the rehabilitation unit to proceed as planned.
“The unit will now proceed to the next stage which is planning design and ultimately tender and then onto construction so I am pleased to inform people in Roscommon that this project will now proceed.”
Minister Denis Naughten welcomed the announcement: “I’m glad that we have the rehabilitation unit back on track again. As you know, it was shelved last year, why I don’t know. It only came to the fore during the talks on the programme for government. I was told, no one else seemed to know at that stage that it had been shelved. We have it back on track now, the design and planning stage is going to proceed and we have a review Capital Plan taking place in the first half of next year so we will hope to have the funding in place once we’ve gone through the design and planning phase to get to construction.
“It was deeply disappointing to discover during the talks on the programme for government that the funding for Roscommon’s rehabilitation unit had been dropped from the capital plan even though it had been on the HSE list 12 months earlier.
“As I said before this is not about pointing the finger of blame but it was one of my priorities on entering Government to ensure that this commitment to the people of the West of Ireland was delivered.