New maternity hospital for Limerick ‘a priority’

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

CONDITIONS at the Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital are “particularly concerning” and a new hospital on the grounds of the Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle is a “priority” for Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan.

CONDITIONS at the Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital are “particularly concerning” and a new hospital on the grounds of the Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle is a “priority” for Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan.

The Limerick TD said she would like to see plans advanced for a new maternity hospital by the time the government reaches the end of its term.

But Minister O’Sullivan said she did not believe Minister for Health James Reilly or the HSE would be swayed by political considerations when it came to capital spending.

The Government has been defending itself against charges that hospital upgrades in Wexford and Kilkenny were fast-tracked by Minister Reilly as political favours to his colleagues Brendan Howlin and Phil Hogan.

“My understanding is that Wexford Hospital was on the list of work that was to be done under the HSE’s plans and my understanding is that it was one of the hospitals that was to be attended and there is not an issue there,” Minister O’Sullivan said.

“Decisions are made because those hospitals are on lists to be upgraded and that is simply how it works. As you know there is a considerable amount of work that is being done in Limerick at the moment. Some of that has come to fruition and patients are now in the new critical care unit so Limerick (Regional) Hospital is getting the upgrade it needs. There are further issues that we hope will be addressed, including the Maternity Hospital, which I believe to be particularly important. Of course as local representatives we will always make the case for our hospitals and make that case strongly but ultimately decisions are made on the basis of need and priority.”

She confirmed she would like to see plans brought forward for a new maternity hospital for Limerick by the end of the lifetime of this government.

“The conditions in the Maternity Hospital have been identified as being particularly concerning. There is a site at the Regional Hospital that is suitable. I know there are priorities in other parts of the country but certainly I would see this as one of the major priorities in the medium term,” Minister O’Sullivan said.