9 August 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fine Gael Senator for Cork, and Former Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Jerry Buttimer, has welcomed Billy Kelleher’s belated support for a new Cork Hospital.
“We have a growing and young population and we need to make sure our hospitals are in a position to meet our community’s needs over the decades to come.
In order to do this, we must prioritise the development of a new hospital for Cork. The three existing hospitals are under pressure and don’t have the space to expand.
“As former chairperson of the Oireachtas Health Committee I organised a specific meeting to consider how a new hospital can improve the delivery of healthcare in Cork. This new elective hospital would allow for the expansion of all diagnostic services as appropriate. It would be developed in a modular fashion and it would work closely with, and complementary to, CUH. Both SIVUH and MUH are committed to a new hospital and other services on the site. It would also be an ideal location for a new dental hospital for example.
“The transformation of acute services would massively help relieve waiting lists and the average length of stay per patient. It is also vital to ensure that these proposed top class facilities would positively impact staff morale so that we can maintain and attract high quality nursing and clinical staff throughout Cork.
“While I am glad to hear that Fianna Fáil are backing the hospital proposal now, they are late converts to the cause. It is also worth remembering that 1,200 hospital beds were closed during Fianna Fáil’s tenure. When Micheál Martin was Minister for Health, the Health Budget increased by 188% and 147 reports, commissions and task forces were issued, at a cost of €1 million a week, yet despite this, they never achieved an end to waiting lists. In fact they increased.
“The transformation of acute services in Cork would massively help relieve waiting lists and the average length of stay per patient. It is also vital to ensure that these proposed top class facilities would positively impact staff morale so that we can maintain and attract high quality nursing and clinical staff throughout Cork.
“I have made clear to Minister Harris the need to prioritise this project. I want to see plans for this new hospital brought forward as soon as possible and I will continue standing strong for Cork on this priority issue.”