8 July 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Junior Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly met with management of Bantry Hospital again this week, as part of a series of meetings, in relation to further-progressing a number of developments in the Hospital. Plans have been advancing with some time in order to build a new endoscopy unit; costing more than €6 Million euro, and a rehabilitation unit; costing more than €5 Million euro. Both of these projects have been approved at national level by the HSE’s National Capital and Property Steering Committee. Efforts are now being focused on moving the projects to planning and design stages, with hopes to be shovel ready and in a position to draw down on capital funding in 2020.
The proposed developments follow recent investment by the Government of €1.5 million euro in a medical assessment unit in 2015 and a further €2.5 million in St Joseph’s Community nursing unit in 2016.
Junior Minister Daly said “Bantry hospital is the only remote rural hospital in the country and this special status deserves special consideration… I am determined to keep Bantry Hospital in focus and I use every opportunity available to me to raise it with senior officials in the department and the HSE. Along with efforts to advance the capital projects at the hospital, I am very anxious to expand theatre time from the current two and a half days per week up to five days per week; this move would see more and more West Cork people receive day procedures at Bantry hospital without having to travel to the busy CUH. I have to commend the efforts of staff and management at the hospital on this issue and we are hopeful to be in a position to make a positive announcement in September in this regard”.
Bantry General Hospital provides acute general hospital services to the population of a unique rural and very large geographical area encompassing West Cork, South Kerry and many islands. The hospital has acute in-patient beds, rehabilitation and assessment beds, acute medical assessment beds, day place beds and a residential care unit (St. Joseph’s) located within the hospital.