PREPARATORY works are nearing completion for the provision of a new 100-bed extension to St Vincent’s Hospital in Mountmellick.
The news comes following health minister Simon Harris’s reply to deputy Brian Stanley’s recent parliamentary question on when the work will begin.
Deputy Stanley said he has been informed by the minister that “the first phase of Mountmellick hospital is to go to construction next year.
“The latest update states that the design of the new hospital is near completion. It is anticipated that a planning application will be lodged this year. If planning permission is successful, construction is to commence in 2020.”
The first phase of the hospital will incorporate a new 50-bed unit at a cost of €11.5 million, followed by a second phase with the same number of beds. The existing hospital buildings are to be refurbished to create further bed space and add extra capacity to the hospital.
Deputy Stanley said: “The long-awaited new buildings at St Vincent’s hospital are badly needed. There has been no investment of any significance in the hospital over recent decades. In actual fact, the capacity of the hospital in terms of bed space was actually reduced a number of years ago.
“Public nursing home beds are in short supply in the county. This will only increase over the coming years due to the growing population of elderly people. Mountmellick and Abbeyleix hospitals need to be prioritised to meet this demand. Both facilities have an excellent reputation for the level of care they provide,” he concluded.