Thomas Gould TD.

Elective hospital delays must end

A Cork city TD has called on the Government to end the delays in building a long-awaited elective hospital in Cork.

Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, said works must begin as soon as possible at the Sarsfield Hospital site in Glanmire which was announced as the site for the elective hospital in December 2022.

Teachta Gould said: “We have a hospital in this city that regularly sees the second highest number of people on trolleys and important medical appointments are cancelled across all hospitals weekly.

“This is because there simply isn’t enough capacity. It is long past time that the Government stopped shrugging their shoulders on healthcare and started taking action.”

CI Body Text: His comments come following confirmation from the HSE that the appointment of a design team won’t begin until later this month.

Mr Gould continued: “At the time, a commitment was given that the next phase of the Business Case would be approved by the end of 2023.

“Instead, it is April and the response I received from the HSE doesn’t even present a timeline.

“Simultaneously, we were supposed to see a design team appointed by the end of January.

“That hasn’t even gone to tender yet, it’s not supposed to happen until this month,” the Sinn Féin TD added.

Looking ahead, Mr Gould said the design team appointment process must be “sped up” and clear deadlines must be provided and not missed.

A letter to Deputy Gould from the HSE said that the process of procuring an architect led design team is currently underway.

The HSE said is has also concluded a tender competition for Business Management Consultancy and Health Planning Advisory Services to support the Elective Hospitals Programme. The contract was awarded to Deloitte and support was initiated in late February 2024.

The HSE is also addressing waiting lists in the shorter term by expediting the development of ‘Surgical Hubs’ at locations across the country, including Cork.

A planning application for the development of a surgical hub at CUH has been lodged and enabling works are currently underway.