HSE may look to philanthropy to deliver Limerick maternity hospital

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

THE HSE could look to philanthropic sources of funding to advance plans for a new maternity hospital on the grounds of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, a top official said this week.

THE HSE could look to philanthropic sources of funding to advance plans for a new maternity hospital on the grounds of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, a top official said this week.

Ann Doherty, CEO of the Mid-West acute hospitals group, said the new hospital was down the priority list for capital projects with the HSE nationally but the aim locally was to “agree a plan” during 2013 on the move to Dooradoyle.

At a briefing to politicians on the HSE Mid-West’s plan for the coming year, Ms Doherty said “one big piece of capital development being pursued, not that we are going to deliver it is 2013, is to move the maternity hospital on to the campus in Dooradoyle”.

“Modern medicine says it is best to have a maternal and child hospital on the campus of an acute hospital for those rare occasions that you need critical intervention and also for the huge efficiencies in relation to double rotas and so on.”

Staff at the Ennis Road hospital were behind the move, Ms Doherty said.

“The building that maternity services are in is a very nice building and the quality of the service there is fantastic; it’s just in the wrong place. We do need to move it...I am working closely with the national estates people to see are there other ways in which we could resource it, be it philanthropic or otherwise,” she said.

Bernard Gloster, area manager for non-acute services, told Cllr Joe Leddin there was “no future” for the Maternity as a healthcare facility once a new hospital was delivered in Dooradoyle. St Joseph’s Hospital had already been identified for future HSE office use and Mr Gloster said the best option might be to sell the site once the property market recovers and reinvest the proceeds in local health services.

Ms Doherty told Deputy Kieran O’Donnell that once capital funding had been secured, a new hospital could take up to five years to get through planning and construction.