Minister to announce funding for new Emergency Dept


The Minister for Health will announce the go-ahead for a new Emergency Department (ED) at University Hospital Galway (UHG) during a pre-Christmas visit to the city and county.

Political sources have confirmed to the Connacht Tribune that Simon Harris will throw his weight behind plans for a new ED when he visits the Newcastle site in December.

The HSE was due to reveal the details of its cost-benefit analysis of the planned unit last March but it was delayed until the year-end.

A cost-benefit analysis was included in the HSE’s capital budget for 2016. It is understood that analysis is now with Minister Harris and he is due to commit funding during his December visit to UHG. He is also to visit Portiuncula in Ballinasloe.

“Simon Harris is in Galway the week before Christmas and will announce the Government’s commitment to the construction of a new Emergency Department to replace the existing unit, which is no longer suitable,” said a source.

Speaking during a Dáil debate on the state of the health system in Galway, Minister Harris hinted that he may be in a position to channel funding into the planning and design of a new ED at UHG next year.

“We have a capital review across Government next year and that is an opportunity to look at how we can add additional capital projects, not just in health but in a range of areas, but, obviously, I am particularly interested in health, to our capital programme. I will look at Galway in that context,” he said.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.