MINISTER for Health Leo Varadkar has given the strongest indication yet that he will move to get the ball rolling on a new maternity hospital for Limerick and the Mid-West.
A site has been set aside at University Hospital Limerick to ensure the region complies with international best practice in having maternity hospitals located alongside major acute hospitals.
And in an interview with the Sunday Business Post, Minister Varadkar said he would seek approval for the relocation of the Limerick, Rotunda and Coombe maternity units, as well as government capital funding, this summer.
While it could take a decade to complete all three, the Minister said the government could “finish one, start building another and secure planning for the third” within five years.
The Limerick project is less complicated than those in the capital because of the availability of a preferred site.
Prof Colette Cowan, CEO of UL Hospitals Group, told the Leader in January that while capital funding was not in place, work on the design of the new maternity hospital was ongoing and would be brought to the HSE early next year.
The price tag for a new build in Dooradoyle could be as high as €120 million.