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HSE claims elective surgical hub will slash waits by two thirds


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

HSE claims elective surgical hub will slash waits by two thirds HSE claims elective surgical hub will slash waits by two thirds

The HSE has claimed that patients waiting on elective surgery in Galway will have a maximum wait of 12 weeks when the new surgical hub at Merlin Park opens.

And the health authority has said that waiting lists for day case elective procedures will be slashed by two thirds.

Local TD Government Chief Whip, Hildegarde Naughton, said that substantial works on the new hub – which received planning permission last month – will begin before Christmas.

In documentation submitted to Galway City Council, the HSE said that the hub – which is designed as a medium-term means to address waiting lists ahead of the construction of a new elective hospital on the Merlin Park campus – will treat up to 900 patients per week.

Minister Naughton said: “I am glad to say that it has now been confirmed to me that construction of this new Surgical Hub will commence before Christmas.

“The HSE has advised me that, once the new hub starts substantially eroding the presently lengthy waiting list, the list for elective procedures will be reduced by approximately 66%, with every patient waiting a maximum of 12 weeks for elective surgery,” she added.

She explained that the tender process is at “a very advanced stage”, with prequalification questionnaires already returned by construction companies.

“The tender to build is due to be issued imminently,” she said.

“This new surgical hub will be modelled on the very successful Reeves Centre at Tallaght University Hospital. It is intended that it will be operational next year, thus reducing waiting times for people in the region awaiting elective surgery.

“This new surgical hub for Galway, consisting of operating theatres and ancillary facilities, is a vital interim measure to ensure that elective procedures, such as endoscopy, minor operations, outpatient treatment and outpatient diagnostics services, can be carried out away from the UHG site thus ensuring that they are not cancelled when bed pressures are acute in UHG.

“The permanent elective hospital in presently going through the necessary approvals and will also be built in Merlin Park. However, the people awaiting elective surgery in Galway and the wider region, often in pain, cannot wait. This interim elective hub is therefore vital and I will ensure it is delivered for them,” said Minister Naughton.

The hub will include four operating theatres, support services, parking for 108 cars, 25 bicycles and a new bus stop.

The four theatres and two minor procedure rooms will provide surgery during three sessions each day in a five-day week. There will be between 50-60 patients at each session and the building will be staffed by up to 180 people (80-100 staff on site at any one time).

The three-storey hub will replace a similar plan from 2009 to build a €25 million surgical unit on the exact same site beside the main hospital block.

That plan received planning permission but was never progressed.

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