LIMERICK is set for a huge boost with a new €140m hospital planned for the edge of the city.
The Limerick Leader can today reveal plans for Bon Secours Health System to develop a 150-bed medical facility on a seven-site at Ballysimon.
Set to bring up to 250 new permanent jobs, it will be located just off the M7 motorway adjacent to Northern Trust’s offices and the site of the proposed new Educate Together school.
It forms part of a wider development by Kirkland Investments which will also see a hotel, and other developments.
Design of the hospital has already begun, with experts planning a “world class 21st century health campus”.
A planning application for the project will be lodged with Limerick City and County Council in the coming months.
Should planning go through without any hitches, sources have told the Leader that construction could begin in 18 months, with the hospital ready to welcome its first patients in 2025.
The first newly-built private hospital in Ireland in 20 years, it will also mean Limerick is no longer the only city in Ireland without a facility of this type.
Bon Secours took over Barringtons Hospital in 2017, and with this new hospital coming on stream, it will also mean the George’s Quay venue will be able to expand its services to include cardiology, eliminating the need for patients to travel out of the region.
Bill Maher, the group chief executive of Bon Secours said: “We are excited to be making what will be the single biggest investment in medical care in Limerick for some time. The region is the only one with no full-service private hospital and this development will bring new vital cardiology and other medical services to the Mid-West and the midlands.”
He promised to “advance medical care in Limerick and expand it to the wider community”.
Barringtons has grown considerably since being taken over by Bon Secours in 2017, with its city centre site now restricted. It’s anticipated the new hospital will address this and add further services.
Bon Secours Hospital’s chief executive in Limerick Jason Kenny said the new-build will “continue our mission to bring advanced medicine and exceptional care to a while new level in the community with the focus on ambulatory care once the new hospital opens.”
Mayor Michael Collins has also welcomed the news of the hospital, saying it will "deliver a very significant dividend for Limerick and the wider region both in terms of health services and, indeed, the economy."
"The hospital will be able to expand on this new seven acre site in Ballysimon, compared to the constraints it encounters at its current location at Barringtons Hospital. The increased space means more specialities will be available here in Limerick, meaning people will no longer have to travel outside the region for treatment. The development, in turn, will also take pressure off the public system, particularly at University Hospital Limerick," said the first citizen.
Mayor Collins said that the announcement is also a significant statement about Limerick and the wider region as a location for investment.
Economic director Vincent Murray added the latest announcement by the Bon Secours Health System is "a major vote of confidence in the city and region."
"This will be a huge economic boost for Limerick. The new hospital is going to be a world-class facility and will see employment numbers at Bon Secours Health System here grow significantly as these new services come on stream. I’m pleased also to see that, given its heritage of medical care going back almost 200 years, that the existing Bon Secours Limerick at Barrington’s site on George’s Quay is going to continue serving the city as a medical facility. So, this is very positive news, indeed, for Limerick.”
Chamber chief executive Dee Ryan said: "This announcement by Bon Secours Health System that it is to develop a world-class private hospital on the Ballysimon Road is another vote of confidence for Limerick and the wider region. This will amount to a very significant investment for Limerick, bring additional direct and, indeed, indirect jobs at the new facility itself and in the construction phase. That’s aside altogether from addressing the need for a full service private hospital for Limerick, not least given this is the only city region in the country that doesn’t have one."