Hospital location to be revealed?
The precise location for a new elective hospital for Cork is due to announced today in the Dáil.
Draft plans for the new hospital suggest it will operate as a day facility for outpatients only, operating six days a week for 50 weeks of the year.
There has been speculation recently as to where the facility might be built around Cork city. Fine Gael TD for Cork North-Central Colm Burke told the Cork Independent he feels the proposed 101 acre site at Sarsfield’s Court in Glanmire would be the best location for the facility.
He said: “If you're going to only develop a day facility, which is what they're talking about, there will be huge pressure to have it as close as possible to CUH, but if you're coming from the northern side of the county, the southside of the city is not the best place to develop a hospital.
“Where we should be putting it is where there's plenty of space and where we have capacity to expand, and that's the Sarsfield’s Court site.” Deputy Burke added that the land is already owned by the Government and that the surrounding road infrastructure would be of considerable benefit.
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North-Central, Thomas Gould agreed with Deputy Burke, however, he said there are a number of sites on the city’s northside that he feels should be considered. “I just want to make sure it's on the northside. The people in the northside have no hospital at the moment. Over the years, they've closed down the orthopaedic hospital and the North Infirmary. With a population the size of the northside, not to have a hospital doesn't make sense and it's not fair,” said Deputy Gould.
Since draft plans for the facility emerged earlier in the year, a number of politicians have expressed their disappointment that the hospital won’t offer 24/7 hour service or inpatient beds.
Deputy Gould described it as a “part-time” hospital that will not meet the needs of those on long waiting lists. “We need to tackle the waiting lists and this won’t help. We have 75,000 people in Cork city and county on different waiting lists. 31,000 of them are in CUH alone and 9,000 are waiting over 18 months,” said the deputy.
He added: “What we need is a full time hospital so that when people have surgery they can stay in for a day or two or whatever is required.”
Deputy Gould highlighted that the hospital was in the last Cork City Development Plan three years ago and had originally been promised over ten years ago.
“When it was promised ten years ago, it might have been fit for purpose then but it’s not fit for purpose today,” he concluded.